Barbie® to spotlight six women who are modern real-life heroes of the pandemic, honouring them with their own one-of-a-kind doll made in their likeness
Mattel, Inc. has announced that Barbie® will recognize six women who have worked tirelessly in the fight against COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Experts in their fields who have shown unprecedented courage during a challenging time, these six role models made a positive impact in their communities, inspiring current and future generations for years to come.
To thank these real-life heroes, one-of-a-kind dolls made in their likenesses were created as part of Barbie’s ongoing global initiative called the Dream Gap Project, which introduces girls to women’s stories from all walks of life to show them they can be anything. This is a continuation of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes signature program, launched last year as part of the company’s broader “Play it Forward” platform, focused on leveraging Mattel’s iconic brands to give back to communities in times of need.
In Canada, this recognition and One-of-a-Kind doll will be given to Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa, an accomplished Canadian physician and spoken word poet, whose work has recognized the importance of children’s mental health and systemic racism in the healthcare system.
I remember playing with Barbie as a young girl and imagining them as having the careers I aspired towards, even if the dolls weren’t dressed like that career. Imagining that they were doctors and writers and performers allowed me to live out my dreams at an early age and to explore all the possibilities available to me. I am truly honoured to be a Barbie Role Model and I hope that I can inspire the next generation of girls to set goals and work hard to reach their limitless potential.
With over 200 careers, Barbie continues to celebrate role models, as every child imagines that they can be anything, but actually seeing that they can, and hearing the stories of others, makes all the difference. The brand recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous scarifies when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened. To shine a light on their efforts, Barbie is sharing their stories to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back.
The global lineup of women honoured with a one-of-a-kind doll includes:
- Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa, MD (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.
- Amy O’Sullivan, RN (United States) – Emergency Room nurse Amy O’Sullivan treated the first COVID-19 patient at the Wycoff Hospital in Brooklyn, NY. O’Sullivan later contracted the disease, and soon after returned to work to continue to help others.
- Dr. Audery Cruz (United States) – Dr. Cruz, a frontline worker from Las Vegas, NV, during the pandemic, joined forces with other Asian-American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination.
- Professor Sarah Gilbert (United Kingdom) – As a Professor of vaccinology, Professor Gilbert led the development of the University of Oxford vaccine in the U.K.
- 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.
- Dr. Kirby White (Australia) – As a general practitioner in Australia, Dr. White co-founded Gowns for Doctors, a gown that could be laundered and re-used, allowing frontline workers in Victoria, AU to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.
Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened, said Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. 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.
To thank all Canadian frontline heroes who have helped in the fight against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, Mattel Canada will be making a donation to a local charitable organization.
Today, Barbie is also introducing the Fast Cast Clinic™ playset, with a Barbie doctor doll and four distinct play areas: a medical station, an exam table, an x-ray machine, and a gift shop. The innovative new set includes dough that can be shaped to create leg/arm casts and create wraps with the bandage maker, allowing children to play out roles across the medical field. With dough containers to create casts, a set of crutches, and over 30+ pieces, the Fast Cast Clinic playset is available at major retailers for $74.99.
Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises in the world. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, Fisher-Price®, American Girl®, Thomas & Friends®, UNO®, and MEGA®, as well as other popular intellectual properties that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music, and live events. We operate in 35 locations and our products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and eCommerce companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.