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Mattel Introduces 17 “Role Model” Barbies

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Ever since the first Barbie doll was sold way back in 1959, it’s been one of the most popular toys in the world–but it’s also attracted plenty of controversy. We’ve all heard complains that Barbie promotes an unrealistic body image, or fails to be a healthy role model for children. And even though Mattel has tried to address these concerns over the years, people still wanted them to go further. When the company recently asked 8,000 mothers what their number one concern about their daughters is, 86% of them said bad role models.

Well, it looks like Mattel has not only listened, they’ve done something about it, by debuting a line of “Inspiring Women” dolls. The company released 17 new dolls on International Women’s Day–many of the new dolls depict historical figures, but some are part of Mattel’s “Shero” line, which depicts contemporary newsmakers.

“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,” wrote Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager of Barbie.

You can check out the new dolls below, but we’re sure you’ll be seeing them in playrooms everywhere soon.

1. Amelia Earhart, aviation legend

Photo Credit: Mattel

2. Patti Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman

Photo Credit: Mattel

3. Ava DuVernay, director of Selma

Photo Credit: Mattel

4. Frida Kahlo, artist

Photo Credit: Mattel

5. Gabby Douglas, two-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist

Photo Credit: Mattel

6. Katherine Johnson, NASA physicist and mathematician

Photo Credit: Mattel

7. Sara Gama, Team Italy soccer player

8. Chloe Kim, youngest female Olympic snowboarding gold medalist

Photo Credit: Mattel

9. Bindi Irwin, conservationist and TV personality

Photo Credit: Mattel

10. Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic fencing bronze medalist

Photo Credit: Mattel