Barbie Debuts New Shero Dolls, Including 1 Modeled After NASA Mathematician and ‘Hidden Figure’ Katherine Johnson

Katherine Johnson doll
Katherine Johnson doll
Photo: Mattel

There are some new Barbie dolls out on the block, and they include some really special additions to the company’s Shero and Inspiring Women lines, which are based on inspirational contemporary women and inspirational historical figures, respectively.


Among the inspirational figures touted in the newest release? Why, it’s NASA’s own Katherine Johnson, a trailblazer who broke down the barriers of race and gender and whose story was featured in last year’s hit movie Hidden Figures.

I’m just trying to figure out where these Barbies were when I was a young child being enabled by my doting grandfather, who insisted that I have every new model that came out.

Alas, better late than never.

The new release comes just ahead of International Women’s Day. Mattel, the maker of Barbie, conducted a survey of some 8,000 moms worldwide, only to discover that 86 percent were worried about the role models their daughters were exposed to.

The Inspiring Women dolls apparently come with educational information about the contributions these powerful, fearless women made to society. Alongside Johnson, there will be a doll fashioned after Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, and Frida Kahlo, the famed Mexican artist and activist.


The Inspiring Women collection only has those three dolls so far, but Mattel has signaled that the line will continue to grow.


“The Inspiring Women Series pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before,” Mattel spokesperson Marissa Beck told CNN.

The Shero line, which launched in 2015 to honor powerful contemporaries like Misty Copeland, the first African-American female principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, along with Olympian Gabby Douglas and Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad, who was the first American athlete to wear a hijab while competing at the Olympics and also secured a bronze medal fencing with Team USA at the 2016 Games. Muhammad’s Barbie is also the first Barbie to wear a hijab.


That line has now expanded to include the likes of boxer Nicola Adams, Olympian Chloe Kim and filmmaker Patty Jenkins.


News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



10-year-old BlackMage2030 is maaaaaad she’s too old and childless to rock this shit.