Mattel’s iconic fashion doll brand Barbie is celebrating International Women’s Day with the launch of 20 new dolls in the likeness of some of the world’s most inspiring role models.
The Barbie ‘Shero’ range spans the likes of the US tennis player Naomi Osaka and German cycling champion, Kristina Vogel, through to the likes of the Peruvian activist and entrepreneur Mariana Costa and the French director, Lisa Azuelos.
The initiative has been developed to build on the Barbie Dream Gap Project that launched last year and is part of the brand’s ongoing campaign to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.
According to Mattel’s research, as early as the age of five, many girls are less likely than boys to view their own gender as smart and begin to lose confidence in their own competence. Mattel dubbed this as the Dream Gap.
Today, the toymaker’s Barbie brand, founded 60 years ago, is honouring inspirational women from around the world in recognition of International Women’s Day. The range is kicking off here in the UK by honouring the British activist and fashion icon Adwoa Aboah with a Barbie doll in her own likeness.
Aboah is the founder of Gurls Talk, an online community for young women to discuss issues such as mental health, education, selfcare and relationships, Barbie is honouring Aboah for her vocal and passionate support of girls, using her platform to empower girls today.
“I am passionate about encouraging girls that they can be anything they want to be, and I am honoured to be a Barbie Shero. I believe by working together we can encourage girls to find their authentic voices and that we can have an impact on the world for the next generation of girls,” she said.
“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. I want to help close the Dream Gap, so that girls don’t have to question if they are smart or brave, and have no limits placed on their capabilities by society.”
Aboah’s dolls has two looks in order to represent her two worlds, fashion and activism. Her first outfit is based on her look when accepting the British Fashion Council Model of the Year 2017 Award. The doll’s casual look is a Gurls Talk t-shirt and leopard print skirt.
The full line-up of 2019 Sheroes around the world is:
- ADWOA ABOAH, ACTIVIST & MODEL, U.K.
- YARA SHAHIDI, ACTRESS, MODEL & ACTIVIST, USA
- NAOMI OSAKA, TENNIS PLAYER, USA
- KELSEA BALLERINI, SINGER & SONGWRITER, USA
- KRISTINA VOGEL, CYCLING CHAMPION, GERMANY
- DIPA KARMAKAR, GYMNASTICS CHAMPION, INDIA
- CHEN MAN, VISUAL ARTIST, CHINA
- MELODIE ROBINSON, SPORTS JOURNALIST & PRESENTER, NEW ZEALAND
- KARLA WHEELOCK, MOUNTAINEER, WRITER, & LECTURER, MEXICO
- TESSA VIRTUE, ICE SKATER, CANADA
- LISA AZUELOS, DIRECTOR, FRANCE
- ELENI ANTONIADOU, NASA SCIENTIST, GREECE
- ROSANNA MARZIALE, CHEF, ITALY
- ITA BUTTROSE, AO, OBE, JOURNALIST & EDITOR, AUSTRALIA
- TETSUKO KUROYANAGI, ACTRESS, TALK SHOW HOST & AUTHOR, JAPAN
- MARIANA COSTA, ENTREPRENEUR & ACTIVIST, PERU
- IWONA BLECHARCZYK, PROFESSIONAL TRUCK DRIVER, POLAND
- GÜLSE BIRSEL, COLUMNIST, SCREENWRITER & ACTRESS, TURKEY
- MAYA GABEIRA, BIG-WAVE SURFER, BRAZIL
- LYASAN UTIASHEVA, TV SHOW HOST & RYTHMIC GYMNASTICS CHAMPION, RUSSIA