New ‘Role Model’ Barbies announced, BYU students share who they think should be included

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Shania Twain holds a one-of-a-kind Barbie version of herself. Twain is among six women being honored as global role models in Mattel’s new collection. (Mattel)

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8 and Barbie’s 65th anniversary on March 9, Mattel announced new additions to their Role Models collection.

The real life women these dolls represent were chosen as examples of global storytellers who use their platform for good. Among the recipients are esteemed actresses, musicians and artists.

The dolls are one-of-a-kind creations and will not be available for purchase.

Included in the new additions are five-time Grammy award winner Shania Twain, Triple Crown actress and film producer Viola Davis and Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren.

“I am absolutely blown away by my Barbie. To be chosen by Barbie as a Role Model is a huge compliment, and something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams happening to me at this stage in my life,” Dame Helen Mirren said, according to her website.

Dame Helen Mirren holding her one-of-a-kind Barbie in one hand with her Academy Award in the other. The Barbie doll also holds a miniature award. (Helenmirren.com)

The collection will also feature Barbie versions of Kylie Minogue, Lila Avilés, Maira Gomez, Nicole Fujita and Enissa Amani.

According to Mattel’s website, The Role Model collection is part of The Barbie Dream Gap Project, which aims to “close the gap that comes between girls and their full potential.”

Krista Berger, senior vice president of Barbie and Global Head of Dolls, spoke about the influence Barbie has had over their six and a half decades as a company.

“For the past 65 years, Barbie has used her global platform to empower girls to dream big, explore their limitless potential, and direct their own narrative to shape their future,” Berger said.

BYU students shared who they would choose to include in Barbie’s Role Model collection.

Sophomore Jodeleine Pierre suggested adding the pop star Lizzo.

“I love her music and I love what she stands for — being accepting of all body types and shapes,” Pierre said.

Jacob Zinn, a senior studying software engineering, recommended adding tennis player Serena Williams and singer Taylor Swift.

“I think it would be so cool to make a Barbie of an empowered woman from South America, I would feel super represented,” Mitzi Yanez, a graduate student in the counseling psychology program, said.

BYU student Laura Dupaix suggested her own mother be added to to the list of role models.

“She is an absolutely amazing woman,” Dupaix said.

To learn more about the careers and global impact of the women included in Barbie’s Role Model collection, visit their website.

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