In honour of Barbie’s 60th anniversary and International Women’s Day, Mattel has announced a new range of "Shero" dolls, based on some seriously inspirational role models.
Among the new collection of 20 Barbie figures are activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah; Bindi Irwin, actress, conservationist and daughter of the late 'crocodile hunter' Steve Irwin; actor, model and activist Yara Shahidi; tennis star Naomi Osaka; and film director Ava DuVernay.
"For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make-believe and showed them that they have choices,” said Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president of the Barbie brand. “With more than 200 careers, six runs for president, and a trip to the Moon before Neil Armstrong, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages.”
The dolls have been designed in collaboration with the women they represent, and the team hopes to help close the “dream gap”, as they call it, by donating funds to organisations championing equality for women.
“We’re committed to ... empowering role models as a key part of the Dream Gap Project – our ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything,” a representative from Barbie said of the collection.
“By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves.”
British supermodel Aboah said seeing a Barbie in her image – with freckles, a shaved head and tattoos - “meant a lot to her”.
“I’m passionate about encouraging girls to be anything they want to be, and I’m honoured to be a Barbie Shero,” said Aboah. “I believe by working together we can encourage girls to find their authentic voices and that we can have an impact on the next generation.
"Through my work with Gurls Talk and partnership with Barbie, I hope we can inspire girls to try to change the world around them, through acts big or small.”
Her Shero figure comes with two outfits: the first is a sequin Halpern dress, Stephen Jones turban and Christian Louboutin platform sandals, based on a look the model wore to accept the 2017 British Fashion Council Model of the Year Award; the second is a leopard-print pencil skirt with a Gurls Talk T-shirt, the organisation Aboah founded to offer support to women.