For decades, Barbie has held a special place in every little girl’s heart. Starting in 1969 Barbie is always been a name that will be associated with influence and broken barriers. Founder, Ruth Handler, launched the first Barbie doll named after her daughter, Barbara later released Ken, named after her son. In 1968 the first Black Barbie, Christie was released to the collection range.
In no time, Barbie began to influence many people and even businesses with its iconic take on women’s empowerment. Barbie is known for her nontraditional careers for women. She has been a surgeon, soldier, the president, and various business associations. Barbie’s mission was to defy the narrative that women couldn’t be in male dominated spaces and she took each career on and mastered it.
The brand continued to their women empowerment mission by creating dolls of famous sheroes. In the past, powerful women like Beyoncè, Cher, Farrah Fawcett, Diana Ross, Zendaya, JLo, Audrey Hepburn, and Ava DuVernay. Each doll is created to the woman’s liking and shows young girls all of the career choice they can have.
Celebrating 60 Years
Barbie is now celebrating her 60th birthday. With March being International Women’s Month, Barbie is releasing a new role model collection of celebrity and boss women as Barbie dolls. 20 new dolls will be added to this collection; all from 18 different countries. Below is the list of the new Barbies:
Yara Shahidi – actress and activist
Naomi Osaka – tennis player
Adwoa Aboah – activist and supermodel
Kristina Vogel – cycling champion
Tessa Virtue – ice dancer champion
Dipa Karmakar – gymnastics champion
Chen Man – visual artist
Melodie Robinson – sports journalist
Karla Wheelock – mountaineer and writer
Lisa Azuelos – Director
Eleni Antoniadou – regenerative medicine scientist
Rosanna Marziale – chef
Ita Buttrose – journalist
Maya Garbeira – surfer
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi – actress, author, UNICEF ambassador
Mariana Costa Checa – entrepreneur and activist
Iwona Blecharczyk – professional truck driver
Gülse Birsel – screenwriter and columnist
Lyasan Utiasheva – tv show host and rhythmic gymnastics champion
Ibtihaj Muhammad – fencing champion
Closing The Dream Gap
To continue their work with encouraging young girls, Barbie started their Dream Gap initiative to show girls that their gender doesn’t hinder their career choices. The initiative hopes to show girls that they can be whatever they want to be, not the limits society has set out to be “acceptable”. Barbie is continuously building the self esteem and confidence of young girls and even older women to close the dream gap and break society’s barriers.