While Barbie has been an astronaut, flight attendant, and actress, she hasn’t always had the best track record with diversity. But that’s changing fast, as indicated by Mattel honoring the likes of Misty Copeland, Ibtihaj Muhammad, and now, Adwoa Aboah.
The UK-native has long-since risen to supermodel status, simultaneously raising awareness for the myriad of mental health issues plaguing youth that often go unaddressed via her platform Gurls Talk. British Vogue Edit0r-in-Chief Edward Enninful was selected to present Aboah with her Barbie—a true full-circle moment considering she was his choice to cover his first issue for the magazine.
Mattel’s pivot to make Barbie more inclusive is part of combatting the ‘Dream Gap’—the belief that boys are naturally more intelligent than girls, that research shows is socially established in females as young as age five—via an initiative titled ‘Barbie Shero.’ Aboah said she hopes her partnership with the toy company will encourage young girls to “find their authentic voices,” to help the next generation know they are capable of anything.
“I hope we can inspire girls to try to change the world around them, through acts big or small,” she said. “I want to help close the Dream Gap, so that girls don’t have to question if they are smart or brave, and have no limits placed on their capabilities by society.”
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My very own Barbie! It’s mad!! Seeing my own doll that has my skin colour, shaved head, freckles and my tattoo’s is beyond mad. I spent the majority of my childhood wishing for blonde hair, pining over Barbies light skin and blue eyes. All those years ago and I didn’t feel like I was represented anywhere. But today with my big toothy grin I feel so very proud to have been awarded this Shero doll for all the hard work I have put into myself and @gurlstalk All I hope is that some little girl out there sees this and realises that her wildest dreams are possible if she puts her mind to it. I hear you and see you, this doll is for you. #MoreRoleModels #Shero #Barbie60 @BarbieStyle