In a bid to become more diverse, Barbie are releasing role-model figures of inspirational women from around the world to try and inspire young children to achieve their goals.
To mark this year’s International Women’s Day (8th March), Mattel have announced that they will be releasing 17 new Barbie dolls to celebrate the achievements in two different series of dolls. They are adding 14 new dolls to their ‘Sheroes’ line, and 3 in their new line called ‘Inspiring Women’.
The three dolls in the ‘Inspiring Women’ line are:
1. Amelia Earhart – American aviation pioneer
2. Katherine Johnson – American NASA mathematician and physicist
3. Frida Kahlo – Mexican fine artist
The new additions to the ‘Sheroes’ line are:
1. Martyna Wojciechowska – Polish journalist and explorer
2. Chloe Kim – the youngest woman to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at just 17
3. Sara Gama – Italian soccer champion
4. Nicola Adams, OBE – English boxing champion
5. Bindi Irwin – Australian conservationist and daughter of Steve Irwin
6. Patty Jenkins – American director of Wonderwoman
7. Hui Ruoqi – Chinese Olympic gold medalist in volleyball
8. Leyla Piedayesh – German knitwear designer
9. Hélène Darroze – French chef with two Michelin-stars
10. Çağla Kabat – Turkish model, actress and windsurfer
11. Lorena Ochoa – Mexican professional golfer
12. Xiotong Guan – Chinese actress and philanthropist
13. Yuan Yuan Tan – Chinese prima ballerina
14. Leyla Piedayesh – German designer and entrepreneur
Barbie’s list of ‘Sheroes’ began in 2015 already includes the likes of Gabby Douglas, Misty Copeland, Ashley Graham and Ibtihaj Muhammad. The new dolls for both collections are currently available to pre-order for $29.99 each and will be available to purchase in the UK in the coming months.
Mattel has released this message on their website:
“86% of moms surveyed are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to. That’s why Barbie continues to showcase examples of inspirational women. From Sheroes to Inspiring women, meet our latest Barbie role models – all extraordinary women we’ve honoured with a doll in their likeness.”
However, not everyone is so happy with the new ‘Sheroes’ dolls, with some complaining that Nicola Adams’ doll is ‘weirdly skinny’ and lacks muscle-definition.
Yet others are praising Mattel for their homage to the woman in the modern day and their move away from the traditional skinny, white-skinned, blonde-haired doll into a diverse range of role models. The dolls also include educational information about the contributions that each inspirational lady has made to society aimed to inspire and encourage young girls to achieve the best they can.
Is Mattel moving in the right direction or do they still need to do some research?