Toy manufacturing company Mattel has honoured six remarkable women in the field of medicine by making a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll in each of the women’s likeness.
The six experts in their fields are honoured and being highlighted for making a positive impact in their communities, inspiring current and future generations “for years to come”.
The specially made collection of Barbie dolls showcases women who have worked tirelessly in the fight against Covid-19.
They now join the ranks of poet Maya Angelou and South African singer Lira, who have previously received Barbie-doll gifts of their own.
Doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, researchers
Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel says, “Barbie recognises that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened.
“To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back. Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes.”
The global line-up of women honoured with a one-of-a-kind doll includes:
• Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, Brazil: As a biomedical researcher, Dr Goes is credited for leading the sequencing of the genome of a Covid-19 variant in Brazil.
• Professor Sarah Gilbert, United Kingdom: As a professor of vaccinology, Prof. Gilbert led the development of the University of Oxford vaccine in the UK.
• Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Canada: A psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Canada, Dr Oriuwa has advocated against systemic racism in healthcare, which has been further highlighted by the pandemic.
• Registered nurse Amy O’Sullivan, United States: Emergency room nurse Amy O’Sullivan treated the first Covid-19 patient in Brooklyn at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, became ill and was intubated. A few weeks later she returned to work to continue taking care of others.
• Dr Audrey Sue Cruz, United States: Dr Cruz, a frontline worker from Las Vegas, joined forces during the pandemic with other Asian-American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination.
• Dr Kirby White, Australia: A general practitioner in Australia, Dr White co-founded the Gowns for Doctors initiative by developing a PPE gown that could be laundered and re-used, allowing frontline workers in Victoria to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.
Barbie, the pioneer of influencerville
Barbara Millicent Roberts of Wisconsin in the United States, otherwise known as Barbie, has been around for six decades. She celebrated her 62nd “birthday” on 9 March this year and millions of people the world over recognise the popular doll.
Barbie is arguably the first “influencer” of young girls, advocating an image and lifestyle that can shape their aspirations.
Although Barbie’s identity was originally founded in fostering, nurturing and motherhood; the notion that a girl’s future role will be that of a housewife and mother, the “new-age” Barbie was conceived from a desire to give girls something more, according to Mattel.
More than 200 different career Barbies have since been released, and the personal tribute Barbies play to the same sentiment.