Barbie dolls have been introducing girls to beauty and fashion trends for 58 years, but recently the company decided to switch things up. To better understand what the current society needs, Barbie surveyed 8,000 mothers. It found out that 86% of them are worried about what kind of role models their daughters are exposed to, so the company created 17 dolls of real and inspiring women.
“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,” senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, Lisa McKnight, said in a news release.
Each “Inspiring Women” doll comes with educational information about the way each woman shaped society. The lineup consists of both historical and modern-day figures. Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and Frida Kahlo, the acclaimed Mexican artist and activist, are among them. Although the series has only three dolls so far, the lineup is set to grow with the release of new ones, a spokeswoman for Mattel said.
Barbie also made new additions to its Shero program, which began in 2015. The initiative has already honored such history-making women like Ibtihaj Muhammad, Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen, and Ashley Graham. Now, it’s celebrating even more modern-day figures: gold-winning Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, world-renowned chef Hélène Darroze, and others.