Gone are the days of homemaker Barbie sequestered to her play kitchen set while her working husband Ken brings home the bacon. Over the last 30 years, Barbie has transitioned into a working woman, with featured careers ranging from architect to army medic to chef. And now, Barbie is getting yet another powerful makeover: in the form of 17 of the world's most inspiring historical and contemporary role models.
In honour of International Women's Day, Barbie is celebrating 17 women from around the world in hopes of igniting conversation about the importance of strong role models. The women chosen for this new collection come from a diverse array of backgrounds and fields (film, science, journalism, and beyond), and exemplify what it means to take risks, break barriers, and dream big.
14 modern-day role models — including Patty Jenkins, Bindi Irwin, Chloe Kim, and Nicola Adams — have been added to the Shero line. These women join the ranks of Barbie’s past Sheroes, like Ibtihaj Muhammad, Ashley Graham, Gabby Douglas, and Ava DuVernay.
Barbie is also releasing an Inspiring Women collection, which features Katherine Johnson, Amelia Earhart, and Frida Kahlo, chosen for their trailblazing contributions in the fields of math and physics, aviation, and art, respectively.
“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honouring 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, SVP and GM of Barbie in a press release. “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.”
Barbie conducted a survey of U.S. moms and found that 86% worry about the types of role models that their daughters are exposed to, so the doll company is asking fans to use #MoreRoleModels on social media to create dialogue around and elevate these positive role models.
Keep a look out on shelves for Barbie's new dolls, which will be available for purchase later this year, especially if there's someone in your life who will love learning about the legacies and accomplishments of these groundbreaking women.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the new collection only featured U.S. role models.