In honor of international women’s day, Barbie made the highly empowering decision to release 17 new dolls that are based on the ultimate female role models throughout history. They’ve previously released a hijabi Barbie and other nods to diversity and inclusion. This is just another step that makes Barbie, a sometimes criticized brand, a truly feminist company that has evolved in modern ways.
Barbie acts as a lifestyle and career role model for young girls all over, so having renowned female heroes grace stores will be a game-changer for putting girls in charge of their own narratives and letting them know that they really can do anything the my put their mind to.
Each doll, belonging to the set known as “Inspiring Women”, wich come with educational background info on how those women specifically shaped and changed history. Some of them include Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earheart, and contemporaries like Chloe Kim, Ava Duvernay and Ashley Graham.
A survey put out by Mattel came to learn that 86% of mothers, out of a control group of 8,000 moms, were concerned about what role models their daughters were looking up to. This line-up of dolls will hopefully quell those worries and create more female leaders.
We think this is a step in the right direction for brands that may have previously been guilty of subscribing to gender norms and stereotypes, placing the woman as a pretty housewife or a
carefree beach house babe.
But the release is controversial – a lot of people are upset that the representations of these heroic women are adapted to look like conventional beauties and Barbies rather than celebrating them in their own right.
For instance, Ashley Graham’s doll doesn’t look that plus sized, and they erased Frida’s famous unibrow. Do you think that Barbie is making moves in the women’s revolution, or are they just another attempt at marketing feminism while still keeping the brand’s old aesthetic?
Personally, we’re happy that something is being done by a big corporate brand like Mattel, and even if the dolls aren’t 100% perfect, they’re still real role models that girls will hopefully Google and be inspired by in their own day-to-day lives.
People will always find a fault with some new trend, but regardless, it’s hard to deny that this is a massive step forward for woman-kind.