Inspiring Women to Teach Your Daughters About, Thanks to Barbie
When I was younger, I had precisely one Barbie to my name, but I absolutely adored her. I can still see her perfectly in my mind: she had long, silky black hair, a tropical floral swimsuit, and perfectly bronzed skin, straight from the island of Hawaii. I loved her and played with her 24/7, until, of course, my brother ripped her head off.
To be completely honest with you, I don't know if I've fully recovered from the loss. But nonetheless, my love of Barbies has stood strong. I am not a mom who has ever encouraged her kids to play with Barbies, but I have fond memories of having a Barbie as my own special toy because of the imaginative play it encouraged. As the mother of three girls, however, I am also extremely sensitive to making sure that they have positive role models of women who have done things in their life (and not just looked pretty).
Which is why I was pretty excited to see the new Inspiring Women Series just released by Barbie, in time for International Women's Day. The series includes Barbies that feature inspiring real-life women that all of our girls should know, including Amelia Earhart, artist Frida Kahlo, snowboarder Chloe Kim, fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, Bindi Irwin, daughter of the famous Steve Irwin and current international award-winning wildlife conservationist in her own right, boxing champion Nicola Adams OBE, and so, so many women, from filmmakers to activists to actresses and ballerinas.
The Barbie Inspiring Women Series is great because no matter what your personal feelings on Barbie may be, odds are, if you have a daughter, she's going to play with a Barbie at some point in her life. And many of us who are mothers will also be gifting a Barbie at some point, thanks to the approximately 10 million birthday parties we will attend over the years. So why not take advantage of play time and incorporate a little inspiration time too for our young girls who desperately need role models?
Even if you don't buy any of the Barbies, I love that the site lists all of the Inspiring Women in the series, so your girls can learn all about them. The women are diverse and doing everything you could possibly think of, so it's truly a wonderful educational series. The Barbie website also has fun activity sheets your girls can print out to brainstorm about what it means to be a role model and listing tons of facts about some of the real-life women in the series, like my girl Amelia and Katherine Johnson from “Hidden Figures.”
I haven't purchased any of the Inspiring Women series Barbies for my own girls, but my oldest did get a mountain climber Barbie for Christmas because I make it constant goal to break gender roles and encourage my girls to learn about all the amazing accomplishments that women have done in the world, from contributing to history to math to reforms. When I asked my nine-year-old daughter who were the most inspiring women she knew about, she named two: Rosa Parks and Hellen Keller. I mean, I feel like her answer says it all, folks. The future generation of women will change the world and they are constantly learning about inspiring women who will shape their own lives.
Oh, and one more thing. Don't forget that that includes us, their moms as well. Because Barbie hips or not, we're all pretty darn inspiring in our own ways.