For years, decades even, Barbie has been synonymous with narrow image. She's been predominately blonde, white and thin; interested in fashion, beauty and pets. There have of course been variations, but this image of Barbie has always been the constant. However, Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, is taking steps to change that.
Its latest release is Judge Barbie, complete with a black robe and wooden gavel. Mattel chose judge as its 'Career of the Year', after statistics released in the US showed that just 33 per cent of courtroom judges were women, of which just eight per cent were from BAME backgrounds.
Announcing the release of its website, Mattel says it hopes the new Barbie will "inspire girls to imagine everything they can become – like protecting the rights of others and ruling on legal cases."
Judge Barbie comes in four skin tones, and is part of Mattel's ongoing drive to diversify Barbie. Earlier this year, the company released a series of new dolls including a gender-neutral Barbie and a disabled Barbie.
It also released a series of 20 'Shero' Barbies, turning the likes of 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 in Barbie figures.
The dolls were designed in collaboration with the women they represent, and the team hopes to help close the “dream gap”, by donating funds to organisations championing equality for women.