Barbie celebrates Indian, Turkish, Japanese and Chinese role models on 60th birthday

Today is the iconic doll's 60th birthday, and Mattel are celebrating by highlighting 20 role models from 18 different countries

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Barbie, the fashion doll famous around the world, turns 60 today, Saturday March 9.

She made her debut in a black and white swimsuit at the New York Toy Fair on March 9, 1959, and is now a multi-national behemoth with a brand valued at upwards of US$400 million (Dh1.5 billion).

Fast fact: Barbie went to space four years before man landed on the moon, with the first astronaut Barbie released in 1965

So, how is the success story celebrating this significant milestone? By highlighting 18 women from across the globe, and creating Barbie dolls in their image.

The women celebrated include 25-year-old Indian gymnastics champ Dipa Karmakar: "Dipa created history by becoming India’s first female gymnast to qualify for the final of the vault event at the Olympics," Mattel explains of the choice to highlight the athlete. "She missed out on bronze by a narrow margin, finishing fourth in the event. Dipa is one of only five women who has successfully landed the Produnova or handspring double front, the most difficult vault currently performed in women's gymnastics. She has defied all odds and inspired a generation of young girls to take up the sport of gymnastics."

Click to play to see all of the role models:

Turkish screenwriter, author, comedian and actress Gulse Birsel was also honoured, as was British model and activist Adwoa Aboah, American actress and activist Yara Shahidi, Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, and Chinese artist Chen Man. New Zealand rugby player and sports broadcaster Melodie Robinson was also honoured, marking the first ever Maori Barbie.

The company also released six new dolls representing careers in which Mattel believes women are still under-represented: pilot, astronaut, athlete, journalist, politician and firefighter.

Barbie herself also released a vlog on International Women's Day (Friday, March 8th) to talk to her younger fans about 'finding your voice' as a woman: