These new dolls are inspiring young girls!
Six women are being recognized and honored for their remarkable work amid the pandemic by being replicated into Barbie Dolls. The women represented have had a huge and positive impact on approaching the pandemic and have made a difference in the medical world. Indeed, the women are:
- Amy O’Sullivan, RN (United States): Amy O’Sullivan is an emergency room nurse who treated Brooklyn’s first COVID-19 patient at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center. She got infected and was isolated. After recovering a few weeks later she returned to work to continue taking care of others.
- Dr. Audrey Cruz (United States): Dr. Cruz, a frontline worker from Las Vegas, fought racial bias and discrimination during the pandemic.
- Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa (Canada): As a psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Oriuwa spoke out against systemic racism in healthcare.
- Professor Sarah Gilbert (United Kingdom): Professor Gilbert is a vaccinologist at the University of Oxford in the U.K. and developed the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Brazil): Dr. Goes is a biomedical researcher, who led the team responsible for sequencing the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil.
- Dr. Kirby White (Australia): Dr. White, an Australian general practitioner, co-founded the Gowns for Doctors, an initiative that reuses protective gear for those treating COVID-19 patients.
Young children will be able to play with these dolls while learning about their influential impact and be empowered, and inspired by them. Professor Gilbert expresses her hopes that her doll will inspire younger women, “I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of girls into STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers and hope that children who see my Barbie will realize how vital careers in science are to help the world around us” she said to The Guardian, “my wish is that my doll will show children careers they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist.”
Senior vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, Lisa McKnight, advocates that “Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened.” With this collection, she wants Barbie “to shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories… to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back.”
In the past few years, Barbie has been making conscious efforts to be more inclusive with its products. They have come out with “curvy” dolls, more male and gender-neutral dolls, as well as racially diverse dolls, which finally responds to the backlash the company has received for the lack of variety in representing all people and body types in their dolls. In addition to creating more diversity, they are also striving to empower young girls through their dolls. In 2019 they came out with an “Inspiring Women” collection to honor great women like Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Susan B. Anthony and many more. These coronavirus-fighting dolls are a part of the “You Can Be Anything” series in the “medical careers” collection, promoting Barbies that are doctors, pediatricians, vets, paramedics, and animal rescuers. Thus, children could be inspired to pursue inspirational careers and realize that their potential is limitless!