One of the best-known names in the world of animal research is Dr. Jane Goodall.
The iconic primatologist and anthropologist is considered the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, and is known for her decades of research studying the behavior of chimps in Tanzania.
Dame Goodall, now 88, has been inspiring people for decades, changing the way we look at chimpanzees and nature in general.
And now, Goodall has received a unique honor that reflects her influence and icon status: she’s gotten her own Barbie doll!
The Barbie doll has been one of the most famous toys in the world for decades, but has often been met with controversy about what influence the doll has on its target audience of young girls.
But in recent years, Mattel has released a special line of dolls called the “Inspiring Women Series,” made in the likeness of real-life women girls can look up to, like Rosa Parks, Billie Jean King, Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou.
Now, Dr. Goodall has joined the ranks of these iconic women. The Goodall doll, released on July 11, is clad in khaki and comes with accessories like binoculars and a notebook. “I never, ever went out without binoculars,” Goodall told GMA.
You won’t find Ken near this Barbie: instead, her companion is David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee Goodall observed in her study.
The doll is also made out of recycled plastic, honoring Goodall’s work as an environmentalist. Goodall has recently been working to encourage people to recycle their old phones and electronics.
Dr. Goodall was “delighted” by the honor, saying that she hopes that the doll will provide an inspiration to young girls.
“I wanted a doll to be me even before this idea came up,” she told Reuters. “I’ve seen…little girls playing with Barbie dolls and certainly at the beginning, they were all very girly girly and I thought little girls need…some choice.”
“Mattel has changed its range of dolls and there’s all kinds of astronauts and doctors and things like that. So many children learn about me at school. They’ll be thrilled to have the Barbie doll.”
“Kids need more role models like Dr. Jane Goodall because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning – seeing it makes all the difference,” Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said in a statement.
“We hope this collection and homage to a groundbreaking pioneer for women in science inspires girls to learn more about green careers, how they can protect the planet, and act out sustainable stories in their doll play.”
What a great idea — Dr. Jane Goodall has been an inspiration to so many, and hopefully this will encourage young girls to learn about this iconic primatologist and be inspired to care about chimpanzees.
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