Mattel has revealed Olympic Gold Medallist and the fastest British woman in history, Dina Asher-Smith, as its latest Barbie Shero with the grand unveiling of a new one-of-a-kind doll created in her likeness.
The initiative has been devised to celebrate the World Champion and four times European Champion – and status as a record-making sportswoman – by spotlighting her accomplishments and recognising her as an inspiration to a new generation.
This year, Barbie is celebrating female role models in sports, in an effort to close what Mattel has previously identified as the Dream Gap – a crucial time when girls start to doubt that they can take on any role or challenge.
The campaign was launched following research that indicated that when girls play sports, they report higher levels of confidence, which in turn breaks down barriers to their self-belief.
Asher-Smith said: “I’m so proud to have my own one-of-a-kind Dina Barbie doll. It’s an honour to work with Barbie as a ‘Shero’ and work together to inspire future champions.
“Growing up, sportswomen were less visible in the media and there is still a gap when it comes to women’s sports, which is why representation is so important. For Barbie to champion female athletes and different sports shows future generations that anything is possible.
“I hope little girls will see my doll and be inspired to take up and continue to enjoy sports. There are so many amazing things have happened because of my love for running, but having my own Barbie is definitely up there.”
Heather Smith, Associate Head of Innovation at Women in Sport, added: “Currently, too many girls are missing out on the physical and mental benefits that sport provides, with negative attitudes towards sport being formed as young as five years old. Yet sport and physical activity is a fantastic way to build girls’ confidence and resilience, helping them become healthy and happy young women.
“At Women in Sport, we’re determined to help more girls enjoy these lifelong rewards of sport. With an exciting summer of sport on the horizon, that will be filled with inspirational women, we’re excited to be supporting’s Barbie’s Dream Gap sporting role models programme, which platforms these positive and aspirational role models for girls and shows them they can do and be anything.”
Barbie will continue to champion empowerment and diversity through a number of additional initiatives, including spotlighting relevant female role models who are breaking boundaries as it continues to celebrate global role models. Mattel will honour 20 women across multiple countries and continents.
The toymaker will also work to further its commitment to closing the Dream Gap with the launch of the Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund – by dedicating resources to likeminded organisations in support of closing the Dream Gap and levelling the playing field for girls.
This initiative builds on the Barbie Dream Gap Project launched in 2018, the brand’s ongoing global initiative to raise awareness around limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.