People have a lot of ~feels~ about Barbies, especially when it comes to Barbie's appearance and how it could potentially make young girls feel. Tall, white, thin, blonde — all words you can use to describe the "traditional" Barbie doll. But you don't have to ignore the toy if you're hoping to empower your own kids.
Feminist Barbies for Women's History Month exist, and they are just as lovely and inspiring as you'd hope they be.
Of course, most of these Barbies are made specifically to honor a historical female figure, but that doesn't make their message any less important. Whether your children prop these Barbies up on their shelves to admire or act out entire scenes from
Hidden Figures with their favorite dolls, they're sure to inspire your little one and remind them that women can do it all. This Women's History Month, pick one (or two) to gift your child, and share the story of a woman the Barbie represents. Even the "generic" feminist Barbies, like the scientist one, can be pegged to a real icon. (Marie Curie, anyone?) Adding a rotation like this into your little one's toy collection will remind them daily that they can break through any glass ceiling if they soar high enough. 1 Katherine Johnson
She was an icon in a field completely dominated by men, and
her work as a NASA research mathematician led John Glenn on his orbital mission, noted NASA. Basically, Katherine Johnson is a real-life star, and her legacy will live on forever in space, and here in this doll. 2 Ibtihaj Muhammad
Talk about breaking glass ceilings. Ibtihaj Muhammad is an Olympic medal-winning fencer, and the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing. Her strength and talent is beyond comprehension.
3 Laurie Hernandez
Another Olympic athlete, Hernandez was part of the gold medal winning U.S. gymnastics team back in 2016, and her talent and perseverance are something to behold. (Especially in Barbie form.)
4 Misty Copeland
Misty Copeland is graceful, she's poise personified, and she's the first African American principal female dancer with the American Ballet Theatre. This, in a time when
ballet shoes are just now being made in a skin tone other than nude, is huge, and her doll (which can be tough to find) is inspiring to so many little girls. 5 Professor McGonagall
I almost chose Hermione, but you know who can really hold her own in the wizarding world? Professor McGonagall. She's a certified, hardcore pillar of strength, and has to stand up to plenty of men who'd like to talk over her.
6 Thirteenth Doctor Who
I mean, what's more feminist than the first-ever female Doctor Who? This one's pricey because she's a collectible, but worth it, whether your kid's a Doctor Who fan or not. (I'm thisclose to buying it for my mom.)
7 Frida Kahlo
Another from the Inspiring Women series is the Frida Kahlo doll. Her paintings and self-portraits broke so many race and gender barriers that it's hard to imagine what life was like before her art graced the world. The doll can be a little pricey, but it's an excellent addition to your feminist Barbie collection.
8 Amelia Earhart
Aaaand another from the Inspiring Women collection. I mean, I've always coveted Barbie's outfits, but I specifically want Amelia Earhart Barbie's outfit — and I want her courage and talent. Earhart was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, and her determination makes her a feminist icon.
9 Lara Croft
Whether you play "Tomb Raider" or not, you've got to admit that a doll fashioned out of a hardcore female archaeologist is a pretty amazing deal. This Lara Croft Barbie is a legend, and I love all of the details poured into the doll.
10 Claire Dearing
I'm not gonna lie — if there was an Ellie Sattler Barbie, she'd be here, too. But in the meantime, Claire Dearing is the operations manager of
Jurassic World and holds her own like a boss throughout the entire movie, velociraptors chasing her or not. 11 Scientist
Because you don't need a specific icon for a healthy dose of feminism. Act out your favorite Marie M. Daly or Marie Curie stories with this super cute scientist Barbie set. Ah, heart eyes: look at those accessories!
12 Queen Hippolyta
I mean, Wonder Woman herself is great and all, but Queen Hippolyta is the mama of Wonder Woman and a legit Amazon Queen. Does it get any more feminist than that?
13 Dentist Barbie
You know, just another Barbie to remind your little one that every career is a career for a woman.
14 Girl Scouts
I know, I know. The Boy Scouts now accept girls, too, but I have a deep love for the Girl Scouts. My own troop went camping, hiking, and fishing — we did everything the Boy Scouts did — and, to boot, the Girl Scouts has been accepting of all people from the very beginning. So celebrate new and old friendships with this sweet Girl Scouts Barbie.
You don't have to find a doll that looks like Amelia Earhart to celebrate women in aviation. Have your kids act out any scenario they can with a female pilot — or have the Barbie act as Bessie Coleman, the first African American female pilot.