Toronto doctor now has a barbie in her image to honor her work as a health hero – .

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Toronto doctor now has a barbie in her image to honor her work as a health hero – .


Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa remembers dressing her Barbies as doctors, poets, and performers when she was a young girl, but none of the dolls really looked like the woman she aspired to be.
Today, the Canadian doctor, spoken word poet and lawyer not only lives her childhood dreams, she also has a Barbie in her image to show it.

Oriuwa hopes that creating a unique doll celebrating her success will show children that there are no limits to their play or their potential.

“What’s even more beautiful about this opportunity is that the Barbie is a black female doctor who is made in my image,” said Oriuwa, resident in psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

“It really reflects my core value and my core belief that you can really be anything and you can really take any space and thrive. “

Oriuwa is one of six women who inspired Mattel’s special Barbie collection honoring health workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

Recognized for his work against systemic racism in healthcare

Also among the celebrated women scientists are British vaccinologist Sarah Gilbert, who co-developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, and Brazilian biomedical researcher, Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, who led the genome sequencing of a variant of COVID. -19. in Brazil.

Only one doll has been made for each of the actual “models” and will not be available for sale, a Mattel spokesperson said.

In this undated photo released by Mattel, British professor Sarah Gilbert holds a Barbie doll made in her image, in honor of the Oxford vaccine co-creator. The toy company created models in honor of five other women working in STEM around the world. (Andy Paradise/Mattel via AP)

The toy maker recognized Oriuwa for his advocacy against systemic racism in healthcare.

The 27-year-old has spoken openly about the discrimination she faced as the only black student in her class during her freshman year in medical school in 2016, and helped in efforts to diversify the program.

She became the first black woman to be chosen as the only valedictorian for the University of Toronto’s medical school after graduating last year.

From an early age, Oriuwa said she struggled with the “subconscious message” that she did not fit the mold for working in the medical field.

“Changing the narrative of what a doctor looks like”

Even though she was playing out her adulthood fantasies with Barbies, Oriuwa said the brand doesn’t offer a lot of black dolls, especially those with her complexion and afro-textured hair.

“Not only did I not necessarily have a Barbie that looked like me in the field I wanted to pursue, but in fact, I didn’t know a black female doctor until much later in life,” she said. .

“It would have been so crucial for me to have a Barbie who can really help further solidify my dreams and let me know that this is really something tangible. “

Oriuwa worked with the Barbie team to design a doll that accurately represents her features, complete with medical accessories including a white lab coat and a stethoscope.

“Part of it also changes the narrative of what a doctor looks like,” she said.

“I really wanted to be able to send this message to the younger generation of girls to inspire them and let them know that really any of them can be in this area or any area that they aspire to. “


For more stories about the experiences of black Canadians -om anti-black racism to success stories within the black community – check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

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