What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

A Better Barbie


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Just in time for International Women’s Day, mega-toy company Mattel released 3 new Barbie Dolls this week, and they feel like progress.

The company surveyed 8,000 mothers and discovered what most of us already knew. A whopping 86% of those surveyed expressed concern about the role models to which their daughters are exposed. The resulting series of dolls are based upon real figures and are called the Inspiring Women series.

“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” senior vice president and general manager of Barbie, Lisa McKnight, said in a news release.

These 3 dolls are just the beginning. The series is going to total 17 dolls, all which will come with the story of how the woman inspiring it changed the world for the better.

You can check out the rest of the series on Mattel’s website.

All images property of Mattel.

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Amelia Earhart, Avaition Pioneer

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Frida Kahlo, Artist

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Katherine Johnson, NASA Mathematician And Physicist

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Yuan Yuan Tan, Prima Ballerina

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Sara Gama, Soccer Player

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Martyna Wojciechowska, Journalist

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Nicola Adams Obe, Boxing Champion

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Ashley Graham, Model And Body Activist

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Bindi Irwin, Conservationist

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Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker

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Gabby Douglas, Gymnastics Champion

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Leyla Piedayesh, Designer and Entrepreneur

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Xiaotong Guan, Actress And Philanthropist

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Ibtihaj Muhammad, Fencing Champion

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Hui Ruoqi, Volleyball Champion

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Hélène Darroze, World-Renowned Chef

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Ava Duvernay, Film Director

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Chloe Kim, Snowboarding Champion

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

21 thoughts on “A Better Barbie

  1. Pingback: Women can do more than be a clothes horse for pink clothes! – Wonderwall

  2. These are amazing and beautiful and every child should have a few, the ones that resonate with him or her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this idea! When I was a child I never played with Barbies, but American girl dolls because I loved how they had history and a story. I am happy Mattel is going in this direction and with real women every little girl and even adults can admire. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was not allowed to play with Barbies, which meant anytime I went to a friend’s house my first question was, “Can we play Barbies?” That aside, this is progress, but—-a big piece of Frida Kahlo’s identity was her disability. Having that erased (as far as I can tell, maybe she does indeed have a vastly shorter leg under the skirt) saddens me as it makes disability something that can’t qualify as beautiful. As a woman who is a little disabled (and will become more so as I age due to a genetic condition) I struggle with issues of beauty and disability. (I am aware that at some point I *think* there was a Barbie in wheelchair).

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is an improvement. I have never like Barbie.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Finally, Mattel! Such a move toward where they should have been all along. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In their defense, they started doing female empowerment-type dolls a few years ago. There was a series in 2016 called Sheroes that included my favorite ballerina, Misty Copeland. And there is a line of career dolls they started in 2014 or 2015. They’re getting it, just slowly.


  7. My initial reaction to this news was a resounding Hurrah. My own children have no interest in dolls but, as a preschool teacher, I have been increasingly aware of the images and messages those little minds are consuming, whether it is the body shape of Barbie dolls or the messaging of story books. I absolutely think this series of dolls is a step in the right direction. It follows on, of course, from Barbie gradually becoming more than just a fashion doll and having things like an implied education and career. I like that this is a step towards greater diversity of racial heritage, body type, and area of expertise/profession. I like to think that more children will see themselves and their aspirations reflected in these dolls than was the case when I was wee and playing with Barbie and Sindy dolls. It is a step, however, rather than a stride because the face shapes are all still quite uniform, for instance, and they all look like they’ve been based on photoshopped, soft filter portraits. I agree with the commenter above that the Frida doll is probably the one that bugs me because her monobrow has been “plucked” and there is no inclusion of her disability in the doll. That reduces my hurrah in volume but I think this is a great foundation to build on and I hope this is a direction the company continues to head in.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m glad these dolls are also coming with their stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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