The new Barbies are modeled after IRL super-women

Barbie has just launched 17 new dolls as a part of their new “Shero” program in honor of International Women’s Day (March 8).

Now, before you say, “Ugh, another corporation trying to just make a buck off of the current feminist movement,” step back and think about how many young children play with Barbies. I myself played with Barbies for years, and I felt like that doll was my role model.

Barbie was, and still is, IT.

The new dolls are modeled after 17 current and historic female role models, including women of color and women with different body types than the OG Barbie we all first think of. On top of these Barbies being modeled after some really badass women, they also come with informational packets about what each woman has achieved and contributed to the world.

While the Barbie site says these dolls are “for the adult collector,” I personally think these dolls are awesome for young children. Mattel has been trying to diversify their Barbie dolls over the years, but I believe this is the first release in a long time that really says something.

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The reason behind the release was a global survey about Barbie. In a pool of 8,000 mothers, 86% are worried about their children’s role models. Mattel wanted to change that through one of the world’s most famous dolls.

Barbie has had different careers, different skin tones, and different body types, but Mattel wanted there to be more tangible, real life role models for the young children out there.

The three dolls available now are Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and Katherine Johnson. “All three of these courageous women took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before,” as the Mattel product announcement states.

Other dolls in the collection that will be coming soon include Chloe Kim the snowboarder, Yuan Yuan Tan the prima ballerina, Helene Darroze the chef, Ashley Graham the model and body activist, and many more amazing women.

Check out Mattel’s website for the launch and read up on all of these women. Some of them you may not even know, and they are each really talented and phenomenal in their own way.

Some felt that the line of Barbies only showed women who were extremely thin, but in fact, the line highlights women of all shapes and sizes, women of color, and women from all different backgrounds — including the professional boxer Nicola Adams Obe, who is LGBTQ.

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The women honored with Barbies in this launch have done great things, have overcome great obstacles, and have become great role models for young children and women of all ages everywhere.

Barbie, and most toy corporations, still have a long way to go before they are considered truly inclusive, but this launch is a big step.

“Barbie is committed to shining a light on empowering role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls,” says the launch’s website. “Join the conversation. Share your role model using #MoreRoleModels,” says Mattel. Now let’s get some actual male role models and some more LGBTQ role models in there, too.

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And nah, we won’t judge you for buying the whole collection as an adult. We get it! I’m about to start collecting these for my future children. It will be cool for them to have real and badass women to look up to.


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