Professor Sarah Gilbert had a whole year. The co-creator of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab has grown into a lady, received an emotional standing ovation at Wimbledon – and now a Barbie doll has been made in her honor.
Gilbert, who led the development of the Covid vaccine at the University of Oxford, said she initially found the gesture “very strange” but hoped it would inspire young girls to work in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem).
“I am passionate about the idea of inspiring the next generation of girls into Stem careers and I hope the children who see my Barbie realize how vital science careers are in helping the world around us,” said she declared. “My wish is for my doll to show children careers that they may not be aware of, like a vaccinologist. “
In addition to the likeness of Dame Sarah, the toy company has created models in honor of five other women working at Stem around the world.
They include American healthcare workers Amy O’Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz, Canadian physician and activist Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus and Dr Kirby White, an Australian physician who co- created a reusable gown for frontline staff.
Lisa McKnight, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said: “Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices to deal with the pandemic and the challenges it faces. increased. To highlight their efforts, we share their stories… to inspire the next generation to learn from these heroes and give back.
Over the years, Mattel has made dolls featuring stars such as Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lopez and Cher, to celebrate career milestones. Last month, a Barbie doll inspired by tennis star Naomi Osaka sold out hours after its launch.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Radio 1 presenter Clara Amfo unveiled a Barbie doll in her image. Known for fighting racial inequalities and defending women’s rights, Barbie d’Amfo was released ahead of International Women’s Day in March.
Mattel also recently released a Barbie Rosa Parks (as part of its Inspiring Women series).
In 2019, Barbie was accused of having had a “wake-up call” after Mattel launched a new line of gender-specific, unlabeled dolls.
They join a growing list of inclusive Barbies and Kens. There is now a Barbie who uses a wheelchair, a black Barbie with a natural hairstyle, and a Ken with a slightly higher BMI.