“Imagining she can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that she can makes all the difference.”
As little kids, girls would often ask their parents—and Santa Claus—for Barbie dolls as gifts. The world-famous brand would always take up significant space in toy stores with its hundreds of dolls from its different collections. And now, Barbie has added a new collection—just in time for their 60th anniversary, and International Women’s Day on March 8—the #MoreRoleModels collection.
#MoreRoleModels, part of Barbie’s Dream Gap Project, features 41 new dolls that were made in the likeness of empowered women from different disciplines and fields. These women include tennis star Naomi Osaka, activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah, artist Frida Kahlo, filmmaker Patty Jenkins, and Britain’s fastest woman, Dina Asher-Smith.
“[The company is] dedicated to shining a spotlight on powerful, diverse role models to inspire the limitless potential in every girl,” Senior Vice President of Barbie Lisa McKnight tells CNN. “We are proud to honor these amazing women by amplifying their stories and achievements with dolls in their likeness,” she adds.
Diversity in Dolls
Founded in 1959, the Barbie doll used to have the “perfect” hourglass body, light skin, and long, straight hair. It had the appearance of the stereotypic model, but as times changed, the dolls started to take on different body types, hairstyles, and skin colors.
In 1980, the first colored Barbie was released. But it wasn’t until 2015 when the brand widened its range of skin tones, eye colors, and hairstyles. The following year, curvier dolls, as well as more petite ones, were made available to the public. And in recent years, Barbie dolls have become more diverse that they even created dolls with vitiligo and physical disabilities.