The toys we choose for our kids affect them in more ways than one. That’s why most parents prefer educational toys, whether it be old fashioned wooden blocks, annoyingly noisy electronics, or digital apps played on a tablet. Durability is also an issue, and of course, the price tag.
Young kids wouldn’t really complain, as they just play with anything and everything. But when they’re older, though, they try to assert that you buy the toys they want. Sometimes parents end up giving in, with peer pressure sometimes playing a role. Toys available in the market, however, are mostly modeled after TV show characters they see on TV, and our kids’ preferences cross over from the books they want to read to the values that they learn.
Not to say these toys don’t serve their purpose, but sometimes we wish they have more options. Hollywood and Disney character toys and the same ‘ol dolls such as Barbie and Bratz can prove to be too much--they have too much makeup on, their clothes are too sexualized, and their body proportions are too unrealistic.
Well, here’s some good news. An artist is transforming these dolls into real-life role models for kids.
“I repainted and reclothed the manufactured dolls into the likeness of real, inspiring women – as young girls. As a parent, I’d love for my child to play with a young J.K. Rowling or Malala, and have conversations about them,” artist Wendy Tsao says. She started the project because she wanted to explore the idea that a child’s toys can influence one’s identity.
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Look at what she did to these Bratz dolls:
Jane Goodall, British primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace
Frida Kahlo, Mexian painter known for her self-portraits
J.K. Rowling, British novelist famous for the Harry Potter books
Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel Prize laureate
Developmental pediatrician Dr. Maria Isabel Osabel-Quilendrino stresses that play is important not only because it impacts a child’s overall development, but it’s also the best way they learn. The most important educational toys your baby can ever have, however, is his parents. “The parents are the first and most significant ‘playthings’ of babies,” she says.
Parents are also the kids’ first teachers. Thus, learning about body image, or about people who made a difference, also starts at home. When you’ve instilled strong unshakable values in them, such as women empowerment and being comfortable in their own skin, your kids will take it with them growing up.
Tsao hopes that these “Mighty Dolls” will encourage young kids to learn more about intelligent women and help initiate conversations about them. We parents have the buying power and if we choose kids’ toys carefully, we might just have an easier time raising them to be good citizens of the world.
Which inspiring person would you like to see as a doll?