Mattel has named U.K. broadcaster Clara Amfo and former U.S. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as official Barbie role models after inspiring generations to find their voice.
Amfo, the BBC Radio 1 presenter, host of the “This City” podcast and television personality, is a much-loved figure in the U.K. After making a powerful on-air speech against racism that went viral in summer 2020 – sparked by the news of George Floyd – Amfo is now working with Mattel as an official Barbie role model and helping kids “raise your voice” and offering a rallying cry to girls and women to build self-belief, confidence and a vital sense of empowerment in young girls.
“I have been lucky enough to experience some really special moments in my professional life, and to say that I am honored to be named a Barbie Role Model would be an understatement,” says Amfo. “There is so much power in being able to see yourself reflected positively in the world as an adult, and it’s even more potent as a child. That power and the confidence that comes with it should only be protected and amplified. For me, having this doll represents the infinite possibility that I believe we all have a right to and my only wish it that it will do the same for anyone who sees her.”
Becoming a Barbie Role Model is one of the highest honors the iconic toy brand can bestow, which has acted as a beacon of ambition for young girls for decades, but it also comes with a mission. To close the Dream Gap – the time when girls start to doubt that they can be anything – is the aim of honoring female role models, and as part of The Dream Gap Project, Amfo and Barbie have even more partnerships planned.
Working with grassroots London project Milk Honey Bees, Barbie and Amfo are already looking to celebrate Black girlhood by creating an expressive, safe space for young Black women and girls to participate in one-to-one sessions and group projects.
Barbie is also donating to Milk Honey Bees to support a creative writing community project, building on the Milk Honey Bees story with social campaigns, sponsoring Milk Honey Bee’s first appearance at the Women of the World Festival March 13, collecting its role models for a You Can Be Anything Virtual Series throughout March and hosting a round-table discussion with thought leaders from UN leaders to role models on March 4 and partnering with Cocoa Girls throughout 2021.
Mattel also announced that former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is the latest addition to Barbie's collection of Inspiring Women dolls.