For International Women’s Day on March 8, Mattel recently announced that a number of real-life women will be occupying a spot normally reserved for their longtime doll icon Barbie. As part of the company’s effort to inspire girls, female trailblazers will be replicated in plastic as a nod to their singular lives and careers.
For Mattel's Inspiring Women adult collector’s line, aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson will be available in doll form to consumers for $29.99 each. But the company is also issuing a series of "Sheroes": one-of-a-kind dolls not available for sale that honor the achievements of 14 contemporary women. Among them:
Patty Jenkins: The director of Wonder Woman, the highest-grossing film helmed by a female director.
Bindi Irwin: A conservationist taking up the efforts of her late father, Steve Irwin.
Yuan Tan: A prima ballerina and dancer at the San Francisco ballet.
Mattel hopes that the new Inspiring Heroes and Shero figures will help spark conversations about goal-setting and opening up girls' eyes to career possibilities.
"As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest lineup of role models timed to International Women's Day, because we know that you can't be what you can't see," Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager for Barbie, said in a statement. "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."