Published March 1, 2019

Barbie Celebrates Female Role Models

The Olympic Skater is 1 of 20 Women Being Honoured In The Series
Tessa Virtue Barbie

Back in 2019, Barbie celebrated their 60th anniversary and International Women's Day with the release of a new series. Barbie designed the series to "honour more role models than ever before". As part of that series, Barbie released a Tessa Virtue doll.

Olympic champion, Tessa Virtue, was thrilled and honoured to be representing Canada in the Barbie lineup. Virtue is regarded on Barbie's website as "one-half of a team known for their legendary elegance, athleticism, innovation, and their unparalleled ability to skate in unison."

Virtue was 1 of 20 women from 18 different countries honoured in the series for "breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation". Some others in the lineup included:

  • Tennis champion Naomi Osaka
  • Activist & supermodel Adwoa Aboah
  • Visual artist Chen Man
  • Director Lisa Azuelos
Barbie celebrates 60th anniversary and International Women's Day 2019

There's a growing list of role models featured in Barbie's collection that includes women in all types of professions with a wide range of accomplishments.

Barbie features these influential women on their website, along with the following statement:

"We’re committed to highlighting empowering role models as a key part of the Dream Gap Project–our ongoing global initiative aimed at giving girls the resources and support they need to continue believing that they can be anything. By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves."

Other Barbie Role Models include:

  • Pat McGrath, Makeup Artist and Founder of Pat McGrath Labs
  • Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO and Co-Founder of Canada Learning Code
  • Butet Manurung, Activist and Founder of Sokola Rimba
  • Samantha Cristoforetti, Astronaut
  • Amy O'Sullivan, Emergency Room Nurse
  • Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, Biomedical Scientist
  • Anita Wlodarczyk, Hammer Thrower

And many more ...

2023 Role Models

The 2023 lineup of Role Model Barbies is not yet available in stores, but the featured women include the following.

Brianne West, Entrepreneur & Founder of Ethique

Brianne West is a true trailblazer in the world of sustainable entrepreneurship. As the founder and CEO of Ethique, the world's first zero-waste beauty brand, she has made a significant impact on the environment. In fact, her company has prevented the manufacture and disposal of 25 million plastic bottles worldwide.

Her passion for protecting and restoring the environment is evident in every aspect of her business, which focuses on regenerative beauty and lifestyle products.

Kelly Sildaru, Freestyle Skier

Kelly Sildaru is a superstar in the world of freestyle skiing. Her list of accomplishments is truly impressive. It includes:

  • A bronze medal at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in slopestyle
  • A World Championship title in halfpipe
  • 10 X Games medals

In 2022, Kelly added another accolade to her impressive resume. She won her first FIS World Cup slopestyle title and earned a crystal globe. Not only is she the first Estonian freestyle skier to win a medal at the Winter Olympics. She is also the first to medal at the Winter X Games.

Shonda Rhimes, Founder of Shondaland

Shonda Rhimes is the CEO of Shondaland, a worldwide media company that prioritizes innovation in its approach to storytelling. This includes developing content for film, streaming, audio, digital, and editorial, as well as forming brand partnerships and producing merchandise.

Rhimes is an accomplished professional. Her work has earned her many awards over the years, including an induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Her influence on the entertainment industry is notable, having transformed the business model and contributed to the evolution of television. Rhimes' impact on the industry is widely recognized, and her contributions have changed the face of television as we know it today.

Ari Horie, Founder & CEO, Women’s Startup Lab

Ari Horie is a well-known Silicon Valley innovator, global speaker, and women's leadership and entrepreneurship thought leader. Her expertise in corporate innovation and leadership has made her a sought-after speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset for executives.

Ari is the CEO and founder of Women's Startup Lab (WSLab), a top accelerator program for women entrepreneurs with tech startups. WSLab has played a crucial role in revolutionizing venture capital and providing strong support for women's success in the tech industry.

To find out more about Barbie Role Models and the women who inspired them, head to the Mattel website.

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