Although often criticized for her unnatural proportions as an unhealthy role model for girls, even naysayers grant Barbie one thing: she’s done it all. Mattel’s iconic doll has been a yoga instructor, a dentist and even an astronaut, in an attempt to cover everything women can achieve. Her new goal? Representing amazing women from the past and present and giving young girls new “sheroes” for International Women’s Day!
As part of Mattel’s ongoing effort to turn Barbie into a feminist icon, the company recently announced the release of a series of new dolls commemorating great women. Mixing trailblazers from history and contemporary ladies, the list of 17 new Barbies includes women ranging from Mexican artist Frida Kahlo to Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins.
“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women’s Day because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see,” said Lisa McKnight, Senior VP and General Manager of the Barbie brand, on a statement. “Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real life role models to remind them that they can be anything.”
With 86% of US moms worried about the type of role models their daughters are exposed to, we are committed to shining a light on empowering female role models in an effort to inspire more girls.
— Barbie (@Barbie) March 6, 2018
Mattel is also launching a campaign called #MoreRoleModels, to get the conversation started about female role models. The company says they want to release other “sheroes” in doll form, as they’ve done in the past (remember that Ava DuVernay Barbie?)
The modern-day sheroes being honored are: the aforementioned Jenkins, US snowboarding champion Chloe Kim, Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, British boxing champion Nicola Adams, Turkish windsurfer Çağla Kubat, French chef Hélène Darroze, Chinese volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi, German designer Leyla Piedayesh, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska, Italian soccer star Sara Gama, Chinese actress Xiaotong Guan, Chinese prima ballerina Yuan Tan and Spanish fashion designer and entrepreneur Vicky Martin Berrocal.
As for the historic ladies, there were only three amazing ones: iconic aviator Amelia Earhart, NASA math wiz Katherine Johnson (of Hidden Figures fame) and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
It’s so refreshing to see Mattel using its incredible potential to reach out to girls all over the world through strong role models!