What it means for Barbie to be recognising role models in culture

“Imagining she can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that she can, makes all the difference.”

Children have grown up for years playing with Barbie dolls, introducing them to new beauty and fashion trends with standards of how they should look. Girls have always been able to act out and use their imagination to play different roles and careers with Barbie dolls. In a survey of 8000 mothers, 86% were worried about what kind of role models their children were exposed to and the stereotypical idea of a woman Barbie sets out. In a world where diversity and inclusivity are a priority, Barbie decided to switch things up and introduced ‘Role Models’- a collection of real-life inspiring dolls.

This collection includes a range of past and present empowering women with an aim to inspire young girls. The dolls showcase women’s stories all over the world in an effort to remind girls they can be anything they want and be comfortable with who they are, no matter their race, ethnicity or background. For many women this collection is exactly what they wished they had when they were growing up, making them feel good about themselves with unlimited potential and the ability to thrive despite being told otherwise. It breaks generic female stereotypes and gives young girls the message they are powerful and strong. Each doll comes with educational information about the way each empowering woman has shaped society, adding an educational twist to a standard doll.

This year for International Women’s Day Barbie announced they are adding a new doll to the ‘role models’ collection- Clara Amfo. Clara is best known for broadcasting and uses her voice and platform to promote positive and cultural change. On Instagram, Clara wrote, “this doll isn’t about perfection because I’m sure as heck not but it’s about possibilities and reminder that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be”.

Here is the whole collection of inspirational Barbie role models:

By Charlotte Brooks