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Barbie Sheroes is a doll line that began in 2015. Most dolls are one-of-a-kind (OOAK) dolls made for the women being honored. However, several dolls have later been made in wide release as Black Label dolls. Dolls available for wide release include Gabby Douglas, Misty Copeland, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and Laurie Hernandez.

Barbie's Inspiring Women line also honors real-life women. However, this line focuses on women from history, as opposed to women honored as contemporary heroes. Mattel's distinction between the lines can get confusing, especially because one of their first Inspiring Women dolls was NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who was alive when her doll was released. However, Mattel currently lists its Shero and Inspiring Women dolls in different categories on the Barbie website.

The Shero line has dolls based on inspirational women and girls. In 2016, Mattel executive Sejal Shah Miller said, "We have our "heroes" program, which gives us an opportunity to recognize real people who are breaking boundaries with items that are a limited edition commemoration of these women. (...) We want to highlight women that align with our purpose, and inspire youngsters to strive for limitless potential. The brand is continuing to listen and make sure that it's reflecting the world and trends. We are going to continue to evolve."[1]

2015

2016

2017

2017

2018

Wide Release Dolls

Press Releases

April 24, 2015

"Barbie® Celebrates ‘Sheroes’ at the Variety Power of Women Luncheon

Honorees Include Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Kristin Chenoweth, Sydney "Mayhem" Keiser and Trisha Yearwood

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today Barbie® is honoring six Sheroes, female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere. These women are being honored by Barbie at the Variety Power of Women Luncheon in New York City with a one-of-a-kind doll created in their likeness.

For more than five decades, Barbie has encouraged girls to dream and imagine themselves as everything from a mermaid to a movie star, a fairy to a fashionista and a princess to a president. Embodying the empowerment message the brand stands behind, Barbie is honoring these Sheroes who, like Barbie, have broken boundaries, challenged gender norms and proven girls can be anything they want to be.

These female heroes will be honored in a way that is unique to the Barbie brand, with a one-of-a-kind doll in their likeness. The Barbie 2015 Sheroes are:

  • Ava DuVernay: Director of the Academy Award Best Picture nominee, SELMA, and founder of African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, which provides opportunities and resources to underrepresented filmmakers.
  • Emmy Rossum: Golden Globe® nominated actress and spokesperson for Best Friends Animal Society, the only national animal welfare organization dedicated exclusively to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters and a leader in the no-kill movement.
  • Eva Chen: Breaking boundaries by bringing inspiration to print as the youngest appointed female Editor-in-Chief of a national fashion magazine, Lucky.
  • Kristin Chenoweth: An inspiration on Broadway and beyond, the Emmy® and Tony Award® nominee and winner also founded the Kristin Chenoweth Art & Education Fund volunteering with young talent in the arts.
  • Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser: Five year-old fashion designer with work appearing in Vogue and signed on with major national fashion brand, J.Crew, for the collection 'Little Mayhem for J.Crew’ launching in June.
  • Trisha Yearwood: A woman with many super powers, succeeding as an award-winning Country artist, best-selling author, Food Network host and entrepreneur."[2]

September 18, 2015

"Barbie® Honors Zendaya with One-of-a-Kind Doll for Encouraging Girls to 'Raise Their Voices' at Rock'n'Royals Benefit Concert

Doll to be Presented at the Barbie™ Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience Benefiting VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Barbie® is honoring Zendaya for encouraging girls to “raise their voices” with a one-of-a-kind doll to be presented at the Barbie™ Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience on September 26, 2015 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The doll, created in her likeness, commemorates her iconic Vivienne Westwood look from the 2015 Oscars Red Carpet where she inspired people of all ages to stand up for themselves. Zendaya will host the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals concert this month, an experiential event benefiting VH1 Save The Music Foundation.

“I’m excited to be a part of the new direction the Barbie brand is headed, specifically how they are celebrating diversity in the line and encouraging kids to raise their voices,” said Zendaya. “It’s a positive message to send to my fans, including my nieces who are coming with me to the concert.”

Earlier this year, Barbie introduced more diversity into their Fashionistas® line including twenty-three new dolls, featuring eight skin tones, fourteen different sculpts, eighteen eye colors and twenty-three different hair colors.

The Barbie Rock ‘N Royals event, hosted by Zendaya, will encourage kids to “Raise Their Voices” in a first of its kind experience including up-and-coming musical and dance acts, meet and greet with Zendaya and a rock star zone where kids can jam out on guitars, drums, trumpets and more instructed by music teachers and high school music students from Duarte Unified School District, a VH1 Save The Music partner school district. Allan Mucerino, the Duarte Unified School District Superintendent, is also expected to attend, along with 50 students from Duarte USD.

The brand will be activating nine concert experiences across the globe with different local hosts encouraging kids to raise their voices through the arts. Additionally, kids can join in and raise their voices at home with the new Barbie in Rock ‘N Royals DVD and soundtrack which are available now at retailers nationwide.

To see Zendaya at the Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience in Hollywood and check out her one-of-a-kind doll on display at the event, visit LiveNation.com. All ticket sales will benefit VH1 Save The Music Foundation."[3]

May 02, 2016

"Barbie® Launches Misty Copeland Doll

Doll Launch Embodies You Can Be Anything Message and Continues the Brand's Legacy of Honoring Female Heroes

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 2, 2016 - Today Barbie® is honoring Misty Copeland by unveiling a doll in her likeness to continue to show girls they can be anything. Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT), has been a role model to girls throughout her career.

The doll is part of the Barbie Sheroes program, honoring female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere. Copeland joins an esteemed group of diverse Barbie Sheroes, including Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Kristin Chenoweth, Sydney "Mayhem" Keiser, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya.

The fashions for the doll were inspired by Copeland’s Firebird costume from her first American Ballet Theatre principal role, which she is performing again on May 18 (matinee) and 19 as part of ABT's annual spring season at the Metropolitan Opera House. Copeland was intimately involved in the doll’s design and partnered with the Barbie design team on all the details.

"I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina and through Barbie I was able to play out those dreams early on," said Copeland. “It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of kids with my very own Barbie doll."

Copeland shows girls how to break boundaries both on and off the stage. She began dancing on a Boys & Girls Club basketball court and continues to be very active in local Clubs in various cities. She also works with Project Plié, ABT’s comprehensive initiative to increase racial and ethnic representation in ballet and diversify America’s ballet companies.

"Misty Copeland is at the center of a cultural conversation around how women continue to break boundaries," said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie. "As a brand, we want to honor women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams. We know role play often leads to real 'play' in life and we’re thrilled to celebrate Misty with her very own doll."

This initiative furthers the Barbie "You Can Be Anything" campaign message echoing that when a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines anything she can become. Earlier this year, Barbie expanded their Fashionistas® line by introducing even more diversity with three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.

The doll is available today for $29.95 on thebarbiecollection.com and rolling out to retailers nationwide."[4]

July 11, 2016

"Barbie® Unveils One-of-a-Kind Doll Honoring Gabby Douglas

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 11, 2016 - Today Barbie® honors Gabby Douglas, U.S. Women’s Artistic and Olympic Gold Gymnast (2012 London), by unveiling a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness to remind girls they can be anything.

The 20-year-old athlete is a force to be reckoned with as she heads to Rio to defend her title. At just 16, Douglas was the first woman of color to win the individual all-around competition for gymnastics. Her confidence, work ethic and belief in herself make her an extraordinary role model to girls.

Named the next Barbie “Shero” honoree, a female hero inspiring girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere, Douglas joins an esteemed group of women including Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya, all who have also received the highest honor from the Barbie brand – being immortalized in plastic.

“I love a challenge. I love to push limits and I love that my very own Barbie celebrates me for being a role model to girls,” said Douglas. “Being honored as a Barbie Shero further motivates me to inspire girls by being the best I can be.”

The fashions for the doll were inspired by Douglas’ own signature GK leotard line that she wears while training hard in the gym. Dressed in a red, white and blue Gabby GK Elite leotard, the doll comes complete with a Nike warm-up suit. The doll is fully articulated, allowing her to do almost all of the moves Gabby performs.

“Playing with Barbie allows girls to imagine everything they can become," said Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Barbie. "While imagining you can be anything is the first step, seeing that you can is what makes all the difference. Role models like Gabby Douglas show girls that with determination and perseverance their potential is limitless.”

This initiative furthers the Barbie “You Can Be Anything” campaign which kicked off in 2015 and has since generated over 60 million views online.

Earlier this year, Barbie expanded their Fashionistas® line by introducing even more diversity with three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories."[5]

November 14, 2016

"Barbie Honors Ashley Graham with One-of-a-Kind Doll at Glamour Women of the Year Summit

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., November 14, 2016 – Today, Barbie® honors Ashley Graham, model and body activist, by unveiling a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness. The doll was unveiled at the first-ever Glamour Women of the Year LIVE summit in Los Angeles. Graham was also named a 2016 Glamour Woman of the Year.

Barbie is celebrating Graham for pushing boundaries within fashion and for promoting a message of body positivity, self-acceptance and female empowerment. She has proven she can make a meaningful impact by challenging the industry’s standards of beauty, landing ground-breaking covers, and sharing her influential TED Talk. Through her work, she reminds girls they can be anything.

“We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty and continue to push for a more inclusive world,” said Ashley Graham. “I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries. It’s an honor to be immortalized in plastic."

Earlier this year, Barbie expanded their Fashionistas® doll line by introducing three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 24 hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.

“Ashley Graham is a trailblazer who inspires every woman – and girl – to see the beauty in herself,” said Lisa McKnight, General Manager of Barbie. “This year Barbie has evolved to be more inclusive by adding three new body shapes into the line and we hope our relationship with Ashley will further make an impact.”

This honor makes Graham the latest Barbie “Shero” or female hero inspiring girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere. She joins an esteemed group including Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Gabby Douglas, Misty Copeland, and Zendaya.

For more information and images, visit glamour.com."[6]

November 13, 2017

"Barbie Honors Ibtihaj Muhammad with One-of-a-Kind Doll at Glamour Women of the Year Summit"

"Showing Girls They Can Be Anything, Barbie Celebrates Muhammad as Latest Shero

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., November 13, 2017 – Today, Mattel honors Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American Olympian to compete while wearing a hijab, as a Barbie Shero by gifting her a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness. The doll was unveiled at the Glamour Women of the Year LIVE Summit, an annual event that gives young women the opportunity to hear from select past and present Women of the Year honorees, as well as other influential leaders from a variety of fields, in Brooklyn, NY.

Muhammad is the latest honoree as part of Barbie Shero program that recognizes women who break boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. Muhammad was presented this doll by last year’s Shero, body activist and model, Ashley Graham.

“Through playing with Barbie, I was able to imagine and dream about who I could become,” said Ibtihaj Muhammad. “I love that my relationship with Barbie has come full circle, and now I have my own doll wearing a hijab that the next generation of girls can use to play out their own dreams.”

One of TIME magazine’s "100 Most Influential People" of 2016, Muhammad not only breaks boundaries with her swordsmanship, but with the launch of her clothing line, Louella. Noticing a gap in the marketplace, Muhammad designs new fresh and vibrant looks for the modest fashion industry.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out," said Sejal Shah Miller, Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."

"Ibtihaj Muhammad has challenged every stereotype—which to me is the definition of a modern American woman," said Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive. "Last year, she was the first athlete from the U.S to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, and today we are thrilled to celebrate Ibtihaj as the first hijab-wearing Barbie. She will play a tremendous role in ensuring that girls of the future see themselves represented fully and beautifully in our culture."

The doll will be available for purchase in 2018."[7]

March 6, 2018

"Barbie® Honors Global Role Models On International Women's Day

Barbie Highlights Historical and Modern-Day Women Including Chloe Kim, Patty Jenkins and Frida Kahlo to Continue to Show Girls They Can Be Anything

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, ahead of International Women's Day, Barbie is honoring 17 historical and modern-day role models from around the world. These women come from diverse backgrounds and fields and are breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls. With 81 percent* of moms globally worried about the type of role models their daughters are exposed to, Barbie is igniting a conversation around the importance of positive role models.

"As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women's Day because we know that you can't be what you can't see," said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Barbie. "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."

Sparking a global conversation leading up to International Women's Day, the Barbie brand is:

  • Honoring 14 modern-day role models – Through its Shero program, Barbie honors women who have broken boundaries in their fields and have been an inspiration to the next generation of girls with a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness. Global honorees announced today include:
    • "Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker, USA – The first woman in history to helm a film with a budget in excess of 100 million dollars for WONDER WOMAN, which broke the record for Biggest Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman – domestic and worldwide
    • Chloe Kim, Snowboarding Champion, USA – A first generation Asian-American snowboarding champion and the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the 2018 winter games at age 17
    • Bindi Irwin, Conservationist, Australia – International award-winning wildlife conservationist and celebrity who inherited her father's passion for wildlife and is dedicated to inspiring the next generation to make a difference in the world
    • Nicola Adams, Boxing Champion, UK – Two-time gold medalist who is Great Britain's most successful female boxer of all time and is the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have held all four amateur titles
    • Çağla Kubat, Windsurfer, Turkey – Champion windsurfer and member of the Fenerbahçe sailing and windsurfing team who founded her own windsurfing school for young surfers
    • Hélène Darroze, World-Renowned Chef, France – Inspirational fourth-generation French chef with three restaurants and two Michelin stars
    • Hui Ruoqi, Volleyball Champion, China – Fifteenth Captain of the Chinese women's national volleyball team who also won gold in the 2016 summer games
    • Leyla Piedayesh, Designer and Entrepreneur, Germany – Iranian immigrant and founder of fashion label lala Berlin that incorporates urban-cool and elegant-chic elements in its high-quality knitwear
    • Lorena Ochoa, Professional Golfer, Mexico – Athlete, mother, entrepreneur and unbreakable promoter of golf in Mexico
    • Martyna Wojciechowska, Journalist, Poland – TV presenter, magazine editor, author, director and the second Polish woman to conquer the Seven Summits
    • Sara Gama, Soccer Player, Italy – Captain of Juventus and Italian national soccer team, member of the Federal Board and President of Commission for the development of women's soccer
    • Xiaotong Guan, Actress and Philanthropist, China – Ambassador for "World Life Day," a joint campaign by the United Nations Environment Program, International Fund for Animal Welfare and The Nature Conservancy, and known as the "Nation's Daughter" in China
    • Yuan Tan, Prima Ballerina, China – Prima ballerina and principal dancer at the San Francisco Ballet and guest principal dancer at the Hong Kong Ballet
    • Vicky Martin Berrocal, Entrepreneur and Fashion Designer, Spain – Leads the creative direction of Victoria company with collections that include festive costumes, flamenco dresses, gowns, handbags and jewelry
  • Introducing Inspiring Women™ doll line series – These historical dolls come with educational information about the contributions each woman made to society and their respective fields. The first three dolls in this series are:
    • Amelia Earhart – First female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, courageously challenging the conventions of the times by breaking and setting aviation records
    • Frida Kahlo – Artist who gained recognition for her unique style and perspective, and became a celebrated artist, activist and symbol of strength
    • Katherine Johnson – Pioneer in mathematics who broke through barriers of race and gender, and joined a pool of women hired by NASA to work as 'human computers' to calculate the trajectory of the first American-manned flight into space
  • Asking fans to share #MoreRoleModels – Barbie is sparking a global call to action by asking fans to tag and share the female role models that inspire them, using #MoreRoleModels on social media.

Barbie has previously honored women, including Ibtihaj Muhammad, Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Eva Chen and Ashley Graham. Through the program, which started in 2015, Sheroes are given the Barbie brand's highest honor, a one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness, in celebration of their roles in expanding the possibilities for girls everywhere.

Visit www.Barbie.com/rolemodels for more information on the global role models and program. Follow @barbie and @barbiestyle on social media to join in the conversation using #MoreRoleModels.

  • This online survey of 8,000 moms of daughters aged 0-10 years old, was commissioned by Mattel and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society's code of conduct."[8]

References