Barbies to Inspire

Barbie has been around since 1959, and it’s safe to say that likely no other toy has been in the hands of little girls more often than the ever-stylish, svelte, and controversial Barbie doll. We even have our own less-svelte version right here on Raising Jane earning Merit Badges: MBA Jane—Merit Badge Awardee Jane. (FYI, the shirt MBA Jane has on in this photo is one that my mother made for my Barbie back in 1960.)


While sporadically causing disdain (remember the talking one who whined “math class is tough!”? Oh, Mattel, what WERE you thinking?) in between bursts of creative genius, Barbie has really gone above and beyond this year, introducing their line of Inspiring Women. Some of their role models to base their dolls on include … drum roll, please …

  • Amelia Earhart, aviation pioneer
  • Frida Kahlo, artist
  • Katherine Johnson, NASA mathematician
  • Chloe Kim, snowboarder
  • Bindi Irwin, conservationist
  • Patty Jenkins, film director
  • Misty Copeland, principal ballerina
  • Martyna Wojciechowska, journalist
  • Hélène Darroze, world renowned chef
  • Ashley Graham, plus-size model and body activist
  • Btihaj Muhammad, fencing champion

There’s even a farmer Barbie (check out our conversation about her here).

With so many dolls to choose from, it almost makes you want to become a collector, doesn’t it?

You can find more information on these dolls and the real-life women who inspired them over at Mattel.

Which one would you buy and why?

  1. Barbara Criss says:

    Oh—how I loved Barbie as a little girl! I got my first Barbie in 1966 for Christmas and I still have her. Later I was given Midge and Francie and the fun was on. My sister would make the most wonderful clothes for them. She also built doll houses for them and made furniture from card board. We even had a little dress shop—grocery store, etc. It was such fun to find things to go in them. She even made little paper groceries from pictures in magazines. My grandfather let us put all this in one of his buildings. I would pick produce for him and use my money to buy other Barbies. Today I would buy the Amelia Earhart Barbie because I read a book about her as a child and I have always admired her.

  2. Cindi says:

    Bravo Mattel! As soon as I heard the announcement I wanted to run right out and get one of each. Alas, I could not find a one them ~ only the glamour/model/socialite versions. Sigh.

  3. Laurie scott says:

    I got my first Barbie doll when they came out in 1959 from my Uncle for a Christmas present. That’s when I first learned how to sew. Making clothes for my Barbie doll. I even bought the Farmer one. Such a great idea that Mattel did for Women’s month. Great inspiration for girls. We can be anything we want to be.

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