04 August 2021

6 inspirational women who have been honoured with Barbie dolls

04 August 2021

Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert has become the latest extraordinary woman to be honoured with her own lookalike Barbie doll.

The Oxford vaccine co-creator said she hoped the Mattel toy, which wears a navy blue trouser suit, would inspire girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics: “My wish is that my doll will show children careers they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist.”

(Mattel/PA (PA Media)

And Gilbert isn’t the only incredible female figure to be cast as a Barbie doll in recent years…

1. Sky Brown

Teen skateboarding sensation Sky Brown – who got her own Barbie at the end of 2020 – has made history in Tokyo, becoming Great Britain’s youngest Olympic medallist of all time after taking bronze in the women’s park competition at the age of 13 years and 28 days.

2. Naomi Osaka

Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka, who made headlines when she decided to prioritise her mental health and withdraw from the French Open, was unveiled in July as an on-court Barbie complete with racket, ball and a Nike tennis dress.

3. Adwoa Aboah

British model Adwoa Aboah was honoured in 2019 for her activist work as found of the Gurls Talk community. Her Barbie featured a buzzcut, purple eyeshadow and the model’s beautiful freckles.

4. Clara Amfo

Ahead of International Women’s Day earlier this year, broadcaster Clara Amfo was celebrated for being a vocal advocate for racial equality. The BBC radio presenter’s trainer-wearing Barbie came with headphones and a microphone.

5. Dina Asher Smith

(Michael Bowles/PA) (PA Media)

The fastest British female sprinter ever, Dina Asher Smith was also unveiled in Barbie form ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, her doll sporting a track-ready two-piece.

6. Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo’s 2018 Barbie was intended to honour the Mexican artist’s “great legacy and story”, but distant relatives of the painter, who died in 1954, weren’t happy with the doll. They claimed it didn’t accurately represent her Tehuana-style dress or heavy eyebrows.

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