Barbie releases new dolls inspired by real life ‘sheroes’ to mark Women’s Day

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When we think of Barbie dolls, long blonde hair, blue eyes and a skinny figure with pink dresses always comes to mind. But the brand aims to change this perception on Women’s Day where they have released a collection of new Barbie dolls based on inspiring women like Frida Kahlo and Ibtihaj Muhammad.

The company has chosen 17 modern-day ‘sheroes’ to represent in their line of inspiring women that they hope little girls can look up to.

The group of chosen women are diverse in their occupation and race, including veiled fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, Chinese actress and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan, the director of “Wonder Woman” Patty Jenkins and French Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze.

The line of new dolls was created after the maker of Barbie, Mattel, conducted a survey of 8,000 mothers around the globe and found that 86% are worried about the kind of role models their daughters are exposed to.

“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,” the company said in a news release.

Barbie have released a video on their Twitter account saying that they were “committed to shining a light on empowering female role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls.”

Barbie’s attempts to diversify dolls

In early 2016, the California-based company launched Barbie versions in three different body shapes -- tall, petite and curvy -- and in seven different skin tones.

In December 2017, Mattel launched a Barbie doll based on US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American of Muslim faith who competes with a hijab head cover.

This diversification has allowed Barbie to be one of Mattel’s few successful toy lines, showing a nine percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 in a year that the company’s global sales dropped by 10.5 percent.

- With AFP

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