Rosa Parks And Sally Ride Are Getting Their Very Own Barbie Dolls

The Inspiring Women dolls empower girls to dream big and to be everything that they can be.

Sep 14, 2019

Barbie dolls have played a big roll in little girls' lives since their debut in 1959. Since then, over a billion Barbies – and  friends and siblings – have been sold worldwide.

Barbie has changed a lot from the first bathing suit clad brunette and she now comes in a variety of skin tones, hair colors, and sizes. She has had a myriad of occupations including teacher, astronaut, presidential candidate, athlete, and a computer engineer. A Barbie who uses a wheelchair and one with a prosthetic leg were introduced recently.

Now Rosa Parks and Sally Ride have just been released as part of the Barbie's Inspiring Women series that debuted on International Women's Day in 2019. The series features dolls based on legendary figures including pilot Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, and NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Rosa Parks is the female face of the Civil Rights movement. An activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) she is best known for her refusal to give up her seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Parks was arrested and the community launched a bus boycott that lasted for more than one year. She was a lifelong activist and someone little girls should look up to.

Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. She was one of 8,000 people to answer an ad in the Stanford student newspaper from NASA seeking astronauts. She was chosen to join the space program in 1978 and took her historic first flight on June 18, 1983 on the space shuttle Challenger. She flew one additional mission and spent 343 hours in space. She boldly went where no (American) woman went before and has been an inspiration for little girls to reach for the stars.

"Barbie recognizes all female role models," Mattel said in the description of the series. "The Inspiring Women Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before."

"The dolls created to honor these two pioneers have each been sculpted in their likenesses of their real-life counterparts,” a Mattel new release said. “Rosa Parks Barbie® Doll wears a floral dress under a smart wool coat. Included are glasses, gloves, a pillbox hat, and clutch accessories. Sally Ride Barbie® Doll wears a blue flight suit, modeled after Sally’s own, with Challenger and NASA insignias. She comes with a headset accessory and removable helmet with American flag and NASA logo details."

Each doll comes with a certificate of authenticity and specially designed packaging that tells the stories of these inspirational women.

While Barbie has been criticized for having unrealistic body proportions that are harmful for girls, the company has come along way to rectify that. Making dolls of these pioneering women will  empower girls to dream big and to be everything they can be.

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.