Barbie has come out with a new series of collectible dolls to commemorate heroic women throughout history. Mattel's iconic Barbie doll has been a symbol of beauty and femininity since its debut in 1959. The fashion doll has shaped society's perceptions and values, promoting female independence and a love of shopping.
Although Barbie was born as a progressive symbol for her times, she eventually became the subject of controversy. With unrealistic body proportions and shallow interests, Barbie really did not reflect what mothers wanted their daughters to emulate.
Fortunately, Mattel has continually updated the Barbie collection to reflect a more positive image of female values. Recently, they launched a new line of fashion dolls that pay homage to some very important women throughout history.
The newest collect of Barbie dolls represent inspiring females who have made their mark in history. With personas like Sally Ride, the first female astronaut, and Rosa Parks, a major player in the Civil Rights Movement, these dolls celebrate women that we want our little girls to look up to.
The Inspiring Women series also includes Spanish artist Frida Kahlo and the African American NASA scientist Katherine Johnson.
Looking at the dolls themselves, one can't help but notice their uniform body types. Like all Barbie dolls, they are tall, thin, and have overly feminized facial features. It is hard to say whether this is just part of the classic doll's image, or whether it isn't right to represent women in one shape when in reality, they come in many.
Regardless, Mattel is making steps in the right direction. These dolls provide little girls with positive role models that might just help shape their futures.
Barbie's Inspiring Women Series is intended for children aged six and up. They retail for about $30 each. Sally Ride can be ordered directly from Mattel's site and Rosa Parks can be preordered. Frida Kahlo is not yet available and Katherine Johnson can be purchased at major toy retailers.
Which doll will be your little girl's hero?