Introducing a new range of science Barbies for COVID-19 healthcare staff and solution leaders, Mattel is moving ahead in its endeavour to recognise and honour women across professions. A whole generation of young children at play will be introduced to female medical figures who carried the world through during the coronavirus pandemic.
The figurines take after the likeness of US frontline nurse Amy O’Sullivan, doctor Audrey Cruz, psychiatry resident Chika Stacy Oriuwa, genome sequencing researcher Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, doctor and innovator Kirby White, and finally, Sarah Gilbert, the vaccinologist who developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories… Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes,” a representative for Mattel said on the release of the dolls.
Science Barbies For COVID Efforts: Reimagining Role Models
The women who inspired the make of the new Barbie dolls responded elatedly. O’Sullivan, who treated Brooklyn’s first COVID-19 patient and herself survived a serious encounter with the virus, said as quoted in TIME that she had no role models growing up.
Noted also for her look with multiple tattoos and rolled up pants, which have been replicated in her Barbie, O’Sullivan added, “This, I think, shows kids it’s okay to be different. It encourages them to be themselves.”
Gilbert meanwhile told Mattel that while it seemed to her a “strange concept” having a doll made in her honour, she hoped it would make it “more normal for girls to think about careers in science.”