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Barbie releases dolls modeled on Rosa Parks and Sally Ride

Mattel has introduced a new collection of dolls titled ‘Inspiring Women’ and it is a part of the ‘Dream Gap Project’ initiative which was launched in 2018

August 31, 2019

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Mattel is honoring Rosa Parks and Sally Ride with the launch of Barbie dolls based on them. These are an addition to the ‘Inspiring Women’ collection which was started in 2018. Rosa Parks was an American activist having played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, particularly in the Montgomery bus boycott. She is also known as “the first lady of civil rights” and “the mother of the freedom movement”. She had refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955 during segregation. She was then arrested which led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. After decades of being involved in social activism, she was awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom, amongst other honors and notable mentions. Rosa Parks doll comes in a floral dress donning a wool coat and has a pillbox hat and clutch accessories.

Sally Ride was an American astronaut and physicist who joined NASA in 1978. She became the first and the youngest American woman to fly in space as an astronaut on-board the space shuttle Challenger in 1983. Her doll comes in a flight suit modeled on Ride’s and includes a removable helmet as well as a headset accessory.

In 2018, the brand had launched a campaign directed towards the empowerment of young girls in bridging the so-called “Dream Gap” to teach them to believe in themselves, and not to be influenced by sexist gender stereotypes. With this move, Mattel introduced its “Inspiring Women” Barbie series on International Women’s Day in 2018 with dolls based on pilot Amelia Earhart, Mexican artist Frida Khalo and mathematician Katherine Johnson, the NASA worker.

Each doll of the ‘Inspiring Women’ series features a doll stand and certificate of authenticity as the packaging also tells the women’s stories and includes quotes by these female role models. With this 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 inspirational women from all walks of life.

The first Barbie doll had made her debut in the American Toy Fair in New York on March 09, 1959. Since then, the iconic dolls have come a long way and enjoys huge popularity as more than 58 million Barbie dolls are sold each year in more than 150 countries. The entire design process for a new Barbie can take up to 12 to 18 months. Then, the prototype is sent from the California workshop to the factories in China and Indonesia for mass production. Headquartered at El Segundo, California and started in 1945; Mattel has its presence in more than 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations across the world.

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