Barbie celebrated Women’s Equality Day with Rosa Parks and Sally Ride dolls
Originally, Barbie created dolls with a singular body type and very few career prospects. You could be a tall thin blonde in a dream home or you could be a tall thin blonde who was a doctor. In the last few years, Barbie and Mattel have made incredible strides to become more culturally inclusive, diverse, and body positive, and in even better news, Barbie just released dolls in the likeness of Rosa Parks and Sally Ride to honor these groundbreaking women and teach young girls about their herstory.
For Women’s Equality Day on Monday, August 26, the toy manufacturer added the Parks and Ride dolls to their “Inspiring Women” Barbie collection, which already includes dolls modeled after Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.
Parks became a figurehead for the civil rights movement in the ’50s when she refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger thus launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Ride was the first American woman to fly to space when she boarded the Challenger in 1955.
“Each doll features authentic clothing and unique accessories, plus educational information about the honoree’s contributions to society, so girls can be inspired by their stories through play,” Mattel officials said in a statement (via People).
When Barbie launched the “Inspiring Woman Series,” they hoped to “honor historical role models who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.” But Barbie’s quest to empower young girls doesn’t stop with these five historical figures. Barbie’s “Shero” collection features dolls modeled after living legends like game-changing plus size model Ashley Graham and Ibtihaj Muhammad, the “first female Muslim-American fencing champion to wear a hijab.”
There are dozens of Shero Barbies including ones modeled after actress Yara Shahidi, ice dancing champ Tessa Virtues, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins, and snowboarding champ Chloe Kim.
The “Inspiring Women,” “Shero,” and Career Dolls collections are all part of Barbie’s Dream Gap Project, which is an “ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything. By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves.”
Barbie wants girls to see dolls that represent the colorful, diverse, and ambitious world of women that they actually live in.