The creator of Barbie, Mattel, has been diversifying the doll's appearance for a culturally and racially diverse audience. As part of their "Inspiring Women" line, Mattel launched dolls resembling historic women like Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and Katherine Johnson just a few days ahead of International Women's Day.
The new line of dolls is a result of a survey Mattel conducted with 8,000 mothers around the globe. The result of the survey revealed that 86% of women were worried about the kind of role models their young daughters are exposed to.
In an effort to celebrate women achievers from different fields, the message that Mattel wanted to convey to the young girls resonates with the tagline of the brand: You Can Be Anything.
The three women chosen for the Inspiring Women series, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and Katherine Johnson, rewrote history and redefined how women are perceived in different fields.
Frida Kahlo, a world-reknown Mexican artist, inspired millions through her soulful paintings and fearless feminism. Amelia Earhart was the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
Katherine Johnson made a statement on behalf of all colored women in the field of mathematics when she drew dozens of trajectories for NASA, including the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the moon.
Johnson, who is now 99, collaborated with Mattel to create her doll and ensure it looked as close to her.
The launch seems to have more grown-ups talking than kids.
In a news release about the new launch, Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, wrote:
"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."
Along with the Inspiring Women series that is based on historic achievers, the brand also launched its "Shero" line of dolls that aims to inspire young girls to be like the contemporary achievers of modern times. This includes 14 modern role models that young girls can look up to and identify with.
This includes Chloe Kim, Olympic snowboarder; Bindi Irwin, Australian wildlife conservationist; Patty Jenkins, the director of Wonder Woman. Mattel already had included director Ava DuVernay, actress Emmy Rossum, ballerina Misty Copeland, and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas in this line-up earlier.
Here's the complete list of the contemporary sheroes with the pictures. Pretty darn cool, eh?
From left to right below: Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska; British boxing champion Nicola Adams; Chinese prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan; American filmmaker and "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins.
From left to right below: Spanish entrepreneur and fashion designer Vicky Martin Berrocal; Chinese actress and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan; Australian wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin; Italian soccer player Sara Gama; American Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim.
From left to right: World-renowned French chef Hélène Darroze; Chinese volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi; German designer and entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh.
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