Every little girl needs some kind of a role model to motivate them to dream bigger and make a difference. Mattel, the company behind the popular Barbie doll, recently dropped its Inspiring Women Series based on real and famous women to give young girls an ideal figure they can look up to and aspire to become. Part of the series is the Dr. Jane Goodall Barbie doll to honor the legendary primatologist and conservationist.
A slender body with fair skin, blue eyes, pouty pink lips, round button upturned nose, and a waterfall of blond hair – this is how Barbie doll has been designed to look like since the first model was launched in March 1959. Through the years, the iconic doll has undergone minor modifications to keep up with the times. Out of that came changing the doll’s face to look younger with less makeup and a more realistic figure with bigger waist. They also gave her new skin tones to celebrate diversity.
Dr. Jane Goodall Barbie Doll From Mattel’s Inspiring Women Series
Recently, Mattel has giving these iconic dolls identities of their own as the company unveils models based on real people. These new dolls were modeled after historic and influential women of their times as a way to pay tribute to their achievements and invaluable contribution to the society. The bravest female astronauts in history, women athletes who excelled in their own sports, and the most esteemed female artists of all time – Barbie has now taken different identities to honor the incredible heroines who changed the world. Mattel’s latest offering, the Inspiring Women Series, pays tribute to the women who took risks and changed the rules.
The Dr. Jane Goodall Barbie Doll is a homage to the decades of dedication and groundbreaking research of the woman it was modeled after. Dame Goodall is known for her meticulous studies of chimpanzees in the wild. She devoted 62 years of innovative study on the social and family interactions of chimpanzees which began in 1960 when she went to Gombe National Park in Tanzania. She was then 26 years old and went to dedicate most of her years observing and interacting with wild chimps in the jungle.
Her discovery had refuted many of the misconceptions we had about chimpanzees. She discovered, for example, that chimps are omnivorous, not herbivorous as we initially believed. She was also the first person to discover that chimpanzees are capable of creating and using tools, a trait that we thought was distinct to human. Goodall summarized her years of study in a book she released in 1986. And she continued to write and lecture about environmental and conservation issues. Her accomplishments were recognized worldwide and became a UN Messenger of Peace in 2002, was created Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2003, and was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2021.
“I wanted a doll to be me even before this idea came up. I’ve seen…little girls playing with Barbie dolls and certainly at the beginning, they were all very girly girly, and I thought little girls need…some choice,” Dr. Goodall shares. “Mattel has changed its range of dolls and there’s all kinds of astronauts and doctors and things like that. So many children learn about me at school. They’ll be thrilled to have the Barbie doll.”
The Jane Goodall Barbie Doll features the exemplary primatologist in her younger years (she is now 88 years old) complete with her khaki button-down, shorts, and black boots. The model also comes with her trusty field notebook and binoculars. Mattel also made sure to include David Greybeard, the male chimp who became friends with Goodall and later became her loyal companion.
A great choice of toy to inspire young girls, the Jane Goodall Barbie Doll is also Mattel’s first signature doll to be made from recycled plastic. Aside from this eco-friendly initiative, Mattel is also working in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots Program to help and encourage young people to implement practical positive change for the communities.
“My entire career, I’ve wanted to help inspire kids to be curious and explore the world around them—just like I did when I first traveled to Tanzania 62 years ago. I’m thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense that they can make a difference,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. “Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere—on the field, in the lab, and at the table.”
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