What We Can Learn from Mattel’s New Line of Scientist Barbies
This blog post will also be published on the Pretty Brainy website.
This year, the toymaking company Mattel Inc. released six new barbies that honor the front-line workers and scientists of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Australia to Brazil to Canada, these six barbies come from a variety of backgrounds. Each of the six barbies is based on an individual woman who has helped to fight against the coronavirus. Below are the six individuals who have inspired these new dolls:
Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa (Canada)- Dr. Oriuwa is a resident in psychiatry at the University of Toronto. She has worked as an advocate to fight against the systematic racism within the healthcare system and industry, which has helped to improve treatment for minorities when it comes to the virus.
Dr. Audrey Cruz (U.S.)- like Dr. Oriuwa, Dr. Cruz worked to advocate against systematic racism within healthcare. Dr. Cruz was a Las Vegas frontline worker at the beginning of the pandemic, and her work saved thousands of lives.
Dr. Kirby White (Australia)- Dr. White helped to make sure hospital workers had affordable uniforms and protective equipment. She cofounded Gowns for Doctors, a company that created hospital gowns that can be rewashed, saving millions of dollars and allowing front-line workers to continue saving lives.
Professor Sarah Gilbert (U.K)- Dr. Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at the University of Oxford, and helped to develop the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Amy O’Sullivan, RN (U.S.)- Amy O’Sullivan treated the first COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn when the pandemic hit in 2020. She herself became ill, but later recovered, returning to helping others.
Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Brazil)- Dr. Goes de Jesus is a biomedical researcher who led the team that sequenced the genome of a COVID-19 variant within Brazil.
Each of these individuals has an amazing story to tell and has helped to save thousands of lives across the globe. What this new line of Barbies tells the public is that these women’s stories need to be heard and that their work needs to be honored. Not only this but that there are new role models for girls to look up to. These role models are powerful women who used their scientific knowledge to help save others.
Photo courtesy of Mattel Inc.