This year, Barbie is spotlighting female role models in sports in an effort to close the Dream Gap; the time when girls start to doubt that they can be anything. The Barbie Dream Gap Project is an ongoing global initiative that aims to give girls the resources and support they need to continue to believe that they can be anything.
“Currently, too many girls are missing out on the physical and mental benefits that sport provides, with negative attitudes towards sport being formed as young as five years old,” says Heather Smith, associate head, innovation, Women in Sport. “Yet sport and physical activity is a fantastic way to build girls’ confidence and resilience, helping them become healthy and happy young women. At Women in Sport, we’re determined to help more girls enjoy these lifelong rewards of sport. With an exciting summer of sport on the horizon, that will be filled with inspirational women, we’re excited to be supporting’s Barbie’s Dream Gap sporting role models program, which platforms these positive and aspirational role models for girls and shows them they can do and be anything.”
“I’m so proud to have my own one-of-a-kind Dina Barbie doll. It’s an honor to work with Barbie as a ‘Shero’ and work together to inspire future champions,” says Asher-Smith. “Growing up, sportswomen were less visible in the media, and there is still a gap when it comes to women’s sports, which is why representation is so important. For Barbie to champion female athletes and different sports shows future generations that anything is possible. I hope little girls will see my doll and be inspired to take up and continue to enjoy sports! There are so many amazing things have happened because of my love for running, but having my own Barbie is definitely up there.
In addition to Asher-Smith, other European women in sports are on the lineup to be made into a Barbie doll.
France’s national French football captain Amandine Henry, Portugal’s European junior surfing champion Teresa Bonvalot, Turkey’s world para swimming champion Sümeyye Boyacı and Ukraine’s five-time world champion sabre fencer Olga Kharlan will also be made into a doll.
“As the original girl empowerment brand, Barbie is dedicated to shining a spotlight on powerful, diverse role models to inspire the limitless potential in every girl,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of dolls, Barbie. “As sportswomen continue to set new records and take center stage around the world, we are proud to honor these amazing women by amplifying their stories and achievements with dolls in their likeness. In an effort to close the Dream Gap, we have a responsibility to show girls they can be anything on and off the field, court, mat and beyond.”
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