want them all

Barbie Is Celebrating 65 Years With 8 New Role Model Dolls

The collection includes Viola Davis, Shania Twain, Helen Mirren, and Kylie Minogue.

Barbie is celebrating 65 years with eight new role model dolls, including Viola Davis, Shania Twain,...

Barbie has had big year. Just when the toy was starting to feel a little stale, or even problematic, this summer brought the hugely successful Barbie movie, which reignited the brand and reminded several generations of girls why they loved playing with the classic dolls. Now everyone is singing “Just Ken” and rooting for Greta Gerwig and crew at the upcoming Oscars.

And now Barbie is celebrating their 65th year by releasing eight new “role model” Barbies, celebrating famed women in eight different countries for their impact on the world and on little girls.

Unfortunately, these dolls aren’t for sale. The one-of-a-kind toys have been given to their namesakes and are being used to teach kids the stories of each women. But it’s still so cool to see each doll, down to the tiny detail, and to celebrate with each of the women chosen.

The United States role model is actor Viola Davis, who said in an emailed statement from Mattel that, “Honestly, I wanted this Barbie to make little 6-year-old Viola squeal. It is my biggest gift to her… my lifelong mission and legacy to make her feel pretty, seen, and worthy. No words. Just joy.”

Davis, who recounted her life of poverty and abuse in her memoir, Finding Me, appears in Barbie form in the black gown she wore to the Golden Globes in 2020, complete with layered necklaces and stunning afro.

The pick for Canada is singer/songwriter Shania Twain, who is completely decked out in the top-hat-centric outfit from the 1999 music video for “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”


“I was telling stories through my music by the time I was 10 years old,” Twain said of getting her own Barbie. “Writing stories and being able to share with them with friends, family, and even the world has always been cathartic and felt like a way to manifest the future I wanted for myself. I applaud Barbie for encouraging girls to create their own narratives and I’m honored to serve as a storyteller and role model during their 65th anniversary year. Dreaming is wonderful, but being able to put those dreams into action is a crucial step that Barbie helps girls visualize.”

Australia’s doll pick, singer Kylie Minogue, was gifted a Barbie in one of her bright-red stage costumes.

“Baby Kylie would NOT believe this is happening right now,” she posted on Instagram, along with a picture of herself with the doll.

Dame Helen Mirren’s Barbie is dressed in the unforgettable getup that the actor wore to the Cannes Film Festival last year, complete with matching blue hair.


“I am absolutely blown away by my Barbie,” she said in the statement. “To be chosen by Barbie as a Role Model is a huge compliment, and something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams happening to me at this stage in my life. It's a very special thing, and something I can add to my list of my favourite achievements; becoming a Dame of the British Empire, having an Oscar, having a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame-and having my own Barbie!”

The other role model Barbies include Brazilian content creator Maira Gomez, Mexican filmmaker Lila Avilés, Japanese model Nicole Fujita, and German comedian Enissa Amani.