What better way to show girls they can be anything than to give them some amazing role models to play with? The Barbie® Inspiring Women™ Series just added three new dolls: jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald, tennis star Billie Jean King, and Florence Nightingale, who is often credited as the founder of modern nursing. This trio joins Rosa Parks and Sally Ride in the Inspiring Women Series, which was launched by Mattel in an effort to address the “dream gap.”
“Research shows that starting at age 5, many girls develop self-limiting beliefs and begin to think they're not as smart and capable as boys,” explained the Mattel website. “They stop believing their gender can do or be anything. This is called the Dream Gap.” Barbie launched The Dream Gap Project in March 2019, and beyond inspiring dolls, the company crowdsourced funds that will go toward "leveling the playing field for girls by providing tools, resources, and support to organizations on the ground working to change the lives of girls around the world,” according to the website.
Play is more than just fun for kids; it can also be what Mattel calls “purposeful dreaming,” which gives young children the tools to imagine a bright future filled with whatever they dream of doing. The new dolls represent women who took risks and broadened the definition of what girls are capable of achieving. Each of the three new dolls retails for $30 and comes with a slew of accessories and a certificate of authenticity (making it an ideal gift for kiddos and collectors alike). And just look at the detail on these dolls! Now ready to pre-order, this stunning Ella Fitzgerald Barbie will be available to ship starting on March 23, 2020.
This Billie Jean King Barbie is available to buy now (hurry before she sells out!).
Like Billie Jean, Florence Nightingale can also be ordered right now on the Barbie website.
The Barbie brand has diversified in many ways recently and now includes nine body types, 35 skin tones, and 94 hairstyles, per their official website. Barbie has a ton of careers and interests too, including robotics, beekeeping, and even meditation. Barbie, who I remember as an anatomically impossible figure with an 18-inch waist in pink stilettos, has come a long way. Now she wears sneakers (or boots, or a jazz gown) and is here to help young girls realize they're limitless.