Girls need to see themselves as leaders, now more than ever. Thankfully Mattel understands the importance of inspiring girls (especially girls of color) to dream about running for office, working on campaigns, and voting — which is why the new Barbie Campaign Team set features a Black woman presidential nominee and her support staff.
Created in partnership with She Should Run, an organization that supports women who run for office, the set includes a campaign manager, a fundraiser, and a voter in addition to presidential candidate Barbie (who looks stunning in her stylish pink blazer). And to help support politically-inspired play, Mattel and She Should Run also teamed up on a curriculum called Help Her Lead, which provides adults with resources (like printable worksheets) to help start conversations with girls about why it's important to lead and how to develop leadership skills.
“With the upcoming elections and the current push for equality and representation, 2020 is an incredible time for us to inspire young women and girls to lead," Erin Loos Cutraro, founder and CEO of She Should Run, said in a press release. “Understanding the role we play in empowering our daughters is the first step — we have to have healthy conversations at home and encourage curiosity. By getting them excited today, we’re giving them the confidence to raise their voices and run for office tomorrow.”
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This new set is the latest in a series of efforts to make the Barbie brand more diverse and less exclusively white and blond. Earlier this summer, Mattel released a Black doll with lilac baby hairs as part of the BMR1959 collection; the Barbie Fashionistas 2020 line, also released earlier this year, includes dolls with vitiligo and prosthetic limbs.
Maybe she used to be a doll just for dressing up and playing house, but Barbie has become something parents can use to help girls learn that they, too are capable and deserving of the leadership positions in our highest office. That while it's hard to envision, it's possible, and someone, hopefully soon, will shatter that final glass ceiling. And that woman will inspire her own Barbie.