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
2. Patti Jenkins, director of Wonder Woman
3. Ava DuVernay, director of Selma
4. Frida Kahlo, artist
5. Gabby Douglas, two-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist
6. Katherine Johnson, NASA physicist and mathematician
7. Sara Gama, Team Italy soccer player
8. Chloe Kim, youngest female Olympic snowboarding gold medalist
9. Bindi Irwin, conservationist and TV personality
10. Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic fencing bronze medalist
11. Yuan Yuan Tan, prima ballerina of the San Francisco Ballet
12. Hélène Darroze, international chef
13. Leyla Piedayesh, fashion designer and founder of lala Berlin
14. Guan Xiaotong, actress and nature conservationist
Photo Credit: Mattel