Ahead of International Women’s Day this week, Mattel announced on Tuesday it’s rolling out 17 new Barbie dolls, created to inspire young girls with role models from past and present. International Women’s Day (March 8th) is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of strong women.
This year, Barbie is clearly embracing the feminist movement with their announcement of a brand-new collection called “Inspiring Women”. Further, Barbie is sparking a global call-to-action by asking fans to tag and share the female role models that inspire them, using #MoreRoleModels on social media.
Creating dolls focused on helping little girls, especially girls of color, see themselves in a positive light is what inspired a mom and daughter duo to create a Princess Shuri doll, from the Black Panther made from a Princess Tiana doll. With this collection, which is being announced in honor of International Women’s Day on Thursday, Barbie continues to celebrate globally recognized trailblazers.
The first three “Inspiring Women” are Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, U.S. aviator Amelia Earhart, and mathematician Katherine Johnson, who worked on the U.S. space programme. These dolls come with educational information about the contributions each has made to society.
Chloe Kim, Bindi Irwin, and Patty Jenkins are all part of the “Global Shero” line, which are one-of-a-kind and not now for sale. “My hope is that everything I do helps more people realise they can do anything they put their mind to”.
These women join a number of other real-life ladies that Barbie has honored in the past, including, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen and Ashley Graham. Mattel has always been criticized for perpetuating unattainable beauty standards for young girls, a reputation it’s trying to fight as it attempts to win over parents concerned Barbie is a negative influence on body image.
Barbie has been the source of controversy before, as many believe the dolls have promoted unrealistic expectations about the way women should look. In the last few years, the doll’s makers have made an effort to change this in a positive way, with more diverse dolls and a wider variety of body shapes.