Last week to celebrate International Women’s Day, Mattel unveiled «role model» Barbies. After decades of focusing on their beauty and fashion sense, the famous dolls show finally their brains, strength and power as well. Not your average Barbies, these dolls are «Sheroes», meaning women who are heroes, designed to give young girls a range of inspirational and positive female idols.
The new dolls came after Mattel conducted a survey of 8,000 mothers around the globe and found that 86% are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to. Mattel’s series of empowering women dolls range from both the past and present.
Amelia Earhart, Aviation Pioneer
Many view this development as a thoroughly refreshing and progressive addition to the toy market like me. The new range showcases women from an array of professions: it includes US snowboarder Chloe Kim, Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, Chinese volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi and French chef Helene Darroze. The range is ethnically diverse, Ibtihaj Muhammad stands for the first hijab-wearing Barbie and Mexican artist Frieda Kahlo is another «Shero» in the collection.
Ibtihaj Muhammad, Fencing Champion
But there are many voices criticizing the new dolls for still looking like «Barbie» as Mattel minimized the typical features that also have made these women special such as the famous Kahlo‘s famous monobrow (Barbie’s brows are thicker but not exactly looking like Frida) or the muscles of boxer Nicola Adams Obe.
Mattel’s message: «Inspire your little ones to paint a world of possibilities!»
Frida Kahlo, Artist
Nevertheless, it’s a great start and kids will love to have dolls that represent aspirational career paths and commemorate inspiring women. From «Sheroes» to «Inspiring Women», have a look at the latest Barbie role models – all extraordinary women honored with a doll in their likeness.
Leyla Piedayesh, Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur
By the way there is even a German lady among them: Iranian born Leyla Piedayesh who is the founder of fashion label lala Berlin. Congrats! Only a blogger is missing… I think for good when there is a real journalist as an influencer could probably be a quite tricky role model for a young girl.
Nicola Adams Obe, Boxing Champion
Martyna Wojciechowska, Journalist
Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker
Chloe Kim, Snowboarding Champion
Hélène Darroze, World-Renowned Chef
Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics Champion
Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician and Physicist
Bindi Irwin, Conservationist
Yuan Yuan Tan, Prima Ballerina
Ashley Graham, Model And Body Activist
Sara Gama, Soccer Player
Hui Ruoqi, Volleyball Champion
Xiaotong Guan, Actress and Philanthropist
Ava Duvernay, Film Director
Photos: Courtesy of Mattel