6 Alternative Barbie Dolls for Empowering Young Girls

Dolls to inspire the world’s future yogis, scientists, environmentalists and philanthropists.

Dec 1, 2015
Queens of Africa doll

Queens of Africa dolls celebrate African heritage (oogeewoogee)

In recent years, Barbie has taken significant steps to modernize their image with new an ad that promotes young girls’ limitless potential and one that features a boy as the face of the brand. In addition to Barbie, many other companies are taking steps to create alternative dolls that inspire young girls to broaden their horizons, embrace their individuality, and dream big. Whether it’s a doll that promotes healthy body image, or one that celebrates diversity, these six alternative Barbie dolls are modern-day inspirational role models for all girls.

1. YOGA DOLLS

Aziam Girlz’s motto is “Be You to Be Full” and that message is loud and clear in their line of yoga dolls. The eight dolls, which are based on the eight elements of yoga that make up the foundation of the practice, each have a full range of motion in their hips and knees and a built-in spinal extension for forward and backward bending. And the best part? A percentage of the profits go to a charity that promotes the same message each doll represents.

Pratya yoga doll

2. LAMMILY DOLL

Nickolay Lamm’s 3D-printed phenomenon, the Lammily doll encourages children to develop a positive and realistic body image. With a reusable sticker set that includes stretch marks, grass stains, and acne, as well as a fashion pack with an outfit for different world destinations, these dolls are designed to look like real women.

Lammily Doll with stretch marks

3. TREE CHANGE DOLLS

What started off as a fun home project became an Internet sensation when Australian mother Sonia Singh started giving second-hand Bratz Dollz a natural makeover. After removing their makeup and accessories and sewing them an age-appropriate wardrobe, the dolls are ready to explore the outdoors, be themselves and encourage their real-life playmates to do the same!

Tree Change Doll transformation

4. QUEENS OF AFRICA DOLLS

This stunning line of Nigerian fashion dolls was created to promote African heritage and inspire today’s generation of African girls. Each of the three Queens of Africa dolls represent one of the three largest tribes of Africa and comes with a set of traditional African attire. With the aim of promoting the ideals of love, peace, diversity and endurance, these dolls are also now being sold in Brazil, American and Europe.

Queens of Africa dolls

5. LOTTIE DOLL

Lucie Follett was determined to create a doll that was a positive role model for children, while stimulating their imagination and inspiring learning and fun through play. When parents told her they were most concerned about their children growing up too fast, Follett came up with the Lottie Doll. Lottie is based on the scientific proportions of a nine-year-old, she doesn’t wear jewelry, makeup, or high heels, and her clothing are made to endure outdoor play

Lottie Doll

6. MISS POSSIBLE DOLLS

Supriya Hobbs and Janna Eaves were two engineering students at the University of Illinois who noticed just how few females there were in their classes. Hobbs and Eaves wanted to show girls that anything is possible - and so began Miss Possible, dolls of female role models from history that strive to empower girls to dream big and achieve. Though the Marie Curie Doll is the only doll currently available, Miss Possible will soon be coming out with a Bessie Coleman and Ada Lovelace doll and hope to further expand their collection in the future.  

Marie Curie Miss Possible doll
Mirele writes about everything related to doing good, with a particular interest in volunteering and social entrepreneurship, informed by her background in eco tourism.

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