mattel has announced plans to release 14 new barbie dolls resembling important female figures. released ahead of international women’s day on thursday, the new dolls include famed pilot amelia earhart, renowned artist frida kahlo and NASA mathematician katherine johnson.

all images courtesy of mattel



the fourteen dolls released by mattel take inspiration from leading females throughout history, paying tribute to their work, achievements and activism. the line will also include icons from sports and art to journalism and mathematics, all including educational materials pertaining to each inspiring figure.



‘we know that you can’t be what you can’t see’, lisa mcknight, senior vice president and general manager of barbie, explained in a press release.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’.



sporting legends including american snowboarding star chloe kim, british boxer nicola adams and chinese volleyball player hui ruoqi. whilst there is no specific release date announced just yet, the ‘inspiring women’ dolls will retail for $29.99 online and in stores.



this isn’t the first time barbie has made an attempt to empower women. in 2017, mattel introduced the first hijab-wearing barbie doll. in 2016, the company announced three new body types, the first time the doll was made available in shapes beyond its originally thin frame. and back 2015, it introduced 23 new dolls with different skin tones, hairstyles, outfits and flat feet, rather than those designed to fit heels.


an effort to inspire the next generation of women is a popular source for toymakers recently. last year LEGO announced it will release a ‘women of NASA‘ set featuring four mini figurines of pioneering women from the space agency. this did not include katherine johnson due to licensing issues.


update: according to reports and some recent celebrity commentary, the frida kahlo barbie is receiving some negative feedback. kahlo’s own family have called for redesign after questioning the sourcing of rights for a redesign. not only this but the actress of played kahlo in a biopic about the artist, salma hayek has questioned the doll.


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