The latest member to join Mattel’s Barbie Inspiring Women Series is a doll that pays tribute to ethologist and activist Dr. Jane Goodall. The doll comes with a pair of binoculars and a notebook. She is the first in this series to be made of recycled materials. She wears Goodall’s signature khaki shirt, shorts, and boots. Additionally, she comes with a figurine of David Greybeard, the chimpanzee Goodall observed for some of her most seminal research. He was the first chimpanzee to allow her to observe him.
In 1960, at age 26, Goodall went to Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania. There, she studied chimpanzees in the wild and made groundbreaking discoveries about their behaviour. She provided insights into their diet, tools, and social interactions that no one else had observed before. In 2002, she became a UN Messenger of Peace. Today, she works towards protecting chimpanzees and their habitat and raising awareness through the Jane Goodall Institute. Furthermore, she opened up avenues for women in primatology, anthropology, and conservation. Thanks to her efforts, young girls today can pursue careers in fields that were once male-dominated.
“When I was growing up, there weren’t any female role models, and there weren’t women doing the kind of things I wanted to do,” Goodall said in a video shared on Instagram. “Girls don’t want just to be film stars and things like that. But many of them, like me, want to be out in nature studying animals. And so a Barbie doll, who’s Jane, is a super idea.”
The Barbie Inspiring Women Series pays homage to heroic women who affected real change and paved the way for young girls to dream bigger than the generation before them. Other trailblazing women who became a part of the series are Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks, Billie Jean King, and Florence Nightingale, among others.