Barbie releases 'role model' dolls of global stars for 65th anniversary, International Women’s Day

Barbie released special-edition dolls to celebrate both the toy's 65th anniversary and International Women's Day.

Barbie, a Mattel toy brand, announced a move to honor eight women who have made an impact worldwide. 

The iconic children’s toy will celebrate its 65th anniversary on March 9, 2024, just one day after International Women’s Day is celebrated all over the globe.

This year, Barbie announced it will honor eight women who "are shaping the future through their inspiring stories," according to the brand.

The lineup has one-of-a-kind role model dolls, including Viola Davis, representing the United States; Shania Twain, representing Canada; Helen Mirren, representing the United Kingdom — and more.

The eight women — all deemed global role models — will receive life-like Barbies of themselves, although these are not available for purchase. 

The Barbie brand described Viola Davis as a "social justice activist, having worked to eradicate childhood hunger in the United States and founding her own production company with a focus on giving the voice to the voiceless through strong, impactful narratives."

Shania Twain, the Canadian global role model, was described as "one of music and fashion’s most renowned trailblazers breaking down barriers for women in country music."

Twain — who said she's been writing music since she was 10 years old — applauded Barbie for encouraging children to go for what they want. 

"I applaud Barbie for encouraging girls to create their own narratives, and I’m honored to serve as a storyteller and role model during their 65th anniversary year. Dreaming is wonderful, but being able to put those dreams into action is a crucial step that Barbie helps girls visualize," she said in a media statement.

The 65-year-old toy brand, which named Helen Mirren the United Kingdom’s global role model, said Mirren is not only a well-known actress but "an advocate for embracing and celebrating self-expression, aging and fashion."

"To be chosen by Barbie as a role model is a huge compliment, and something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams happening to me at this stage in my life," Mirren said in a media statement.

Other role models announced include Kylie Minogue of Australia, Maira Gomez of Brazil, Lila Aviles of Mexico, Nicole Fujita of Japan and Enissa Amani of Germany.

In a media statement, Krista Berger, Barbie and Global Head of Dolls senior vice president, said that for 65 years Barbie has helped children explore their potential. The doll has embraced over 250 different careers to inspire others. 

"For the past 65 years, Barbie has used her global platform to empower girls to dream big, explore their limitless potential, and direct their own narrative to shape their future," she also said. 

She added, "As we celebrate this milestone anniversary, we recognize over six decades of stories Barbie has helped write and the doll that continues to give everyone the opportunity to dream — and dream big."

Mattel also announced additional new releases available on March 9, including 65th anniversary dolls inspired by Barbie’s first iconic outfit: the black-and-white striped bathing suit. 

That special-edition doll will be available for purchase at the Mattel Shop for $60.