Barbie and Mattel have announced a line of six new dolls inspired by real-life frontline workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Barbie isn’t the same doll I remember as a little girl.
She’s no longer a woman with a damn fine ballgown and an impressive shoe collection that was destined to be lost under couches everywhere. These days she’s more representative of the young people that play with her and their dreams, ambitions, and interests.
My Barbie growing up was a confusing mystery of always-pointed toes and a too-short dress. But I will give credit where credit is due. She was a pastry chef Barbie. She came with an apron, kitchen tools, and fed my passion for the kitchen. I’m now a certified plant-based chef and have worked with clients over the years to make meals that fit their lifestyles and food preferences.
I won’t say that my Barbie did that, but I will say that she helped me dream. She fed into my daydreams and let food enter into my playtime.
In that way, my Barbie helped to define who I am and the choices I’ve made.
In some unconscious way, having a doll that represents something you love can make those dreams a reality. It’s like watching a sports figure or an actor. You know what they do is possible because you can see it. When Barbie steps outside of the box and offers new dolls for a younger generation that present new career or life opportunities, or that celebrate diversity, it’s suggesting to that generation that those choices are possible because they are tangible. They can be held. They can be seen.
My chef Barbie was real in my hands.
Now someone will hold one of these six Barbie dolls in their hands and new dreams can become reality. Doctors, nurses, and vaccinologists aren’t just words or ideas when you can play with them. They become real.
They become the heroes of tomorrow.
I’m proud of the real-life women who inspired these dolls and I’m happier than ever that Barbie is changing with the times. What a way to honor our heroes and create a lasting tribute to their societal contributions.
Barbie is proud to honor 6 frontline workers from around the world with #OneOfAKind dolls in their likeness. From an ER nurse to a biomedical researcher and more, these heroes continue to serve their communities, and inspire generations to follow their lead. #ThankYouHeroes pic.twitter.com/x6pdOlJNDZ
— Barbie (@Barbie) August 4, 2021