The next American president could (should?) be a woman and Barbie, as always, has a doll for that (they’re also prepared if the next president is a mermaid). Mattel has been offering president dolls since the 1992 American election but this year, for the first time ever, she has a female running mate (reflecting reality?). The dolls are part of Barbie’s partnership with She Should Run, a non-partisan American organization with the goal of encouraging young women and girls to become the country’s (and the world’s) future leaders.
Research has shown that when women run for office, their odds of being elected are the same as those of men. The under-representation of women in politics is a result of the lack of female candidates who choose to run. She Should Run works to present politics as a viable career for women, and connects them with the resources they’ll need to start. The President Barbie (and now VP Barbie) is one of their efforts to plant the idea in young girls’ heads that they too can run a country.
Even better news? The Prez/VP dolls come in a variety of skin tones, hair colours and face shapes.
Barbie has been all over empowerment for young girls this year. In January, Mattel announced an expansion to their Barbie Fashionista line which includes three new body types–tall, curvy and petite–seven skin tones, 22 eye-colours and 24 hair styles. Finally Barbie is working towards representing all women, rather than creating an unattainable beauty standard for them. Millions of little girls are thrilled they can have dolls who look just like them.
Barbie has also started a ‘Sheroes’ doll line; a group of dolls modeled off real inspiring women. Dolls include actresses Emmy Rossum and Kristin Chenoweth, Selma director Ava DuVernay, Lucky editor-in-chief Eva Chen, and five-year-old fashion designer Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser. This line is just one more effort to encourage little girls (and boys) to strive to be anything they want. New additions to the Sheroes line include ballerina Misty Copland and Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
Need to get your hands on a set of President and VP Barbies? You can buy them online starting Wednesday or in American stores shortly after that.