Watch: STEM Barbie is here, but how has the doll changed over the last 62 years?

With over 200 career changes to her name, Barbie has now been made into the likenesses of STEM superstars Professor Sarah Gilbert, Amy O'Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz and a number of others for their contribution to science since the arrival of Covid-19
Watch: STEM Barbie is here, but how has the doll changed over the last 62 years?

The Sarah Gilbert Barbie (third fro the right) is among several new Barbie dolls that aim to inspire children.

Professor Sarah Gilbert, co-creator of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been made into a Barbie doll.

Mattel, the company that manufactures Barbie, also created models of four other women working in STEM around the world.

They include US healthcare workers Amy O’Sullivan and Dr Audrey Cruz, a Canadian doctor and campaigner Dr Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Brazilian biomedical researcher Dr Jaqueline Goes de Jesus and Dr Kirby White, an Australian medic who co-created a reusable gown for frontline staff.

Barbie remains the most popular doll ever produced for children in the world.

Since her launch in 1959, she has had over 200 aspirational careers including pilot, doctor, athlete and businesswoman to name a few.

In the early 2000s, concerns were raised about Barbie promoting unhealthy ideals in young children. Research with 3-5-year-olds indicated that they associated larger figure sizes with more negative characteristics, such as being naughty or mean.

In recent years, Mattel has launched campaigns in an effort to make Barbie more gender-inclusive, with realistic proportions. 

In 2018, they launched an Inspiring Women series that included female role models throughout history such as civil rights activist Rosa Parks and artist Frieda Kahlo.

Their full range now includes several body shapes, skin tones and eye colours.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up