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Rediff News  All News  » Getahead » 17 reasons to LOVE Barbie dolls on International Women's Day

17 reasons to LOVE Barbie dolls on International Women's Day

Last updated on: March 08, 2018 12:21 IST

The Barbie maker has released 17 new dolls modelled on real-life badass women.

Barbie sheroes

Conservationist Bindi Irwin has inspired one of the 14 new Shero Barbie dolls.
Photograph: @BindiIrwin/Twitter.

A global survey of 8,000 mothers -- conducted by Mattel, the maker of Barbie dolls -- revealed that that 86 per cent of mothers are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to.

In response, and just in time for International Women's Day, Mattel has expanded it's line of Barbie dolls modelled on real-life inspirational 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,' Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, said in a statement announcing the 17 new dolls. 

Three of the Barbies are part of the new 'Inspiring Women' series, which is based on historical figures; 14 of them are additions to the existing 'Shero' line, which is modelled after inspirational contemporary women.

Both lines, Mattel noted, reflect the Barbie brand's highest honor: 'a one-of-a-kind doll made in a real woman's likeness'.

Barbie sheroes
Artists to sportswomen to mathematicians and chefs, Barbie dolls are finally about real women.
Photograph: @Barbie/Twitter.

The inspiring women

The 'Inspiring Women' Barbie dolls come with educational information about the contributions each woman made to society and their respective fields.

This includes Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean; Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican artist and activist; and Katherine Johnson, a pioneer in mathematics who broke barriers of race and gender and was among a pool of women hired by NASA to work as human "computers" for the first United States-manned flight into space.

The Sheroes

Barbie began its Shero program in 2015 to bring the dolls into the 21st century and address years of criticism about them.

Barbie has previously honored women like Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, principal ballerina Misty Copeland, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and plus-size model Ashley Graham.

The 14 new Shero dolls honor the following women:

Patty Jenkins: The first woman in history to helm a film with a budget in excess of 100 million dollars for Wonder Woman.

Chloe Kim: A first generation Asian-American snowboarding champion and the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the 2018 winter Olympics at age 17.

Bindi Irwin: International award-winning wildlife conservationist and celebrity who inherited her father's passion for wildlife and is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to make a difference in the world

Nicola Adams: Two-time gold medalist who is Great Britain's most successful female boxer of all time and the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have held all four amateur titles

Ça─čla Kubat: Champion windsurfer who founded her own windsurfing school for young surfers

Hélène Darroze: Inspirational fourth-generation French chef with three restaurants and two Michelin stars

Hui Ruoqi: Fifteenth Captain of the Chinese women's national volleyball team, who also won gold in the 2016 Olympics

Leyla Piedayesh: Iranian immigrant and founder of fashion label lala Berlin

Lorena Ochoa: Athlete, mother, entrepreneur and unbreakable promoter of golf in Mexico

Martyna Wojciechowska: TV presenter, magazine editor, author, director and the second Polish woman to conquer the Seven Summits

Sara Gama: Captain of Juventus and Italian national soccer team, member of the Federal Board and President of Commission for the development of women's soccer

Xiaotong Guan: Ambassador for 'World Life Day,' a joint campaign by the United Nations Environment Program, International Fund for Animal Welfare and The Nature Conservancy

Yuan Tan: Prima ballerina and principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet and guest principal dancer at the Hong Kong Ballet

Vicky Martin Berrocal: Leads the creative direction of Victoria company with collections that include festive costumes, flamenco dresses, gowns, handbags and jewelry

These Sheroes include honorees from the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Turkey, France, China, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Italy and Spain.

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau