It doesn't matter how old I get, I'll still get a glimmer of excitement at the prospect of a new Barbie. Especially when that Barbie is a representation of an inspiring woman. In honour of this year's International Women's Day, Barbie has announced that it will be launching a brand new line of dolls, with real-life inspiring women, in fields ranging from journalism to wildlife conservation, represented.
Barbie has been at the forefront of little girls' minds since 1959 and in 2018, is more focused on giving them inspiring female role models than ever. According to Mattel, 81% of mothers are worried about the role models that their daughters look up to. In response, Mattel launched their 'Shero' campaign in 2015, recreating inspiring women from a range of fields in doll form to encourage young girls to achieve their goals. Now in 2018, they're adding more inspiring figures to their shelves.
17 history-making women are included in this year's new line, including modern-day heroes and historical figures alike. Groundbreakers such as Frida Kahlo and Amelia Earhart join with Chloe Kim, the 17-year-old Olympian and Patty Jenkins, maker of the smash hit Wonder Woman, among others, to make up an amazing line of inspiring women. Women that have joined the ranks in previous years include producer Ava DuVernay and model Ashley Graham.
— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) 6 March 2018
In her 59 years, Barbie has had her fair share of controversy. Often viewed as a symbol of unrealistic body standards and portraying women as 'unintelligent' or 'shallow', there have been many instances throughout the years where it looked as though Barbie may lose her relevance. But with clever marketing and a rethink of their brand values, Mattel began to reform Barbie as an icon for the modern young girl, including more diverse dolls and more of a focus on being a positive role model for women. Barbie is still one of the most popular toys on the planet and the latest range of 'Shero's is sure to be a big success.
In a statement about the launch, Mattel said of the line: "Barbie honours women who have broken boundaries in their fields and have been an inspiration to the next generation of girls with a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness." The women honoured spoke of their excitement to be involved, with director Patty Jenkins saying in a recent interview with Glamour: "I am someone who is lucky enough to make the films I want to make, but the honor of having a Barbie that looks like me and is doing what I do touches and delights the girl and child in me to the core. It celebrates all sides of me and my hopes for myself and others, in a very special way."