Barbie Honors Pioneering NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson In Its New ‘Inspiring Women’ Series


March 7, 2018

 Photo credit: NASA 

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Mattel has recently announced the release of 17 new one-of-a-kind dolls in the likeness of various trailblazing women. One of which will honor 99-year-old former NASA mathematician, Katherine Johnson whose noteworthy story was most recently told in the movie, “Hidden Figures.”

Mattel’s “Shero Dolls” features dolls styled after modern-day inspirational women, such as Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, ballerina Misty Copeland, and visionary filmmaker Ava DuVernay. This line was originally launched back in 2015 and will now feature fourteen new additions. The new “Inspiring Women” line will pay homage to more historical figures, like Johnson, who’s contributions in years past opened the doors for the accomplishments of present day women and girls. 


Johnson’s doll, wearing a pink pleated dress, understated string of pearls, and her signature glasses, is also accompanied by a re-created version of her NASA desk space. Johnson is joined by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in this inaugural line of featured historic dolls. In a statement issued by one of Mattel’s senior vice presidents and general managers for the line, Lisa McKnight, “we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them (girls) that they can be anything.”

Photo credit: Mattel 

Mattel describes Johnson’s doll as one that “celebrates the achievements of a pioneer who broke through barriers of race and gender.” You may remember that Johnson was also originally included in a commemorative set of five Lego mini-figures to honor women scientists and explorers associated with NASA. Although when the line was released late last year, Johnson’s figure was ultimately not included, it’s wonderful to see yet another opportunity for her story of determination and perseverance to inspire future generations.


For the complete list of all of Barbie’s newest role model dolls, visit Mattel.com. Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” series is set to be released on April 16.

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