Mattel Unveils New ‘Hidden Figures’ Barbie Doll Inspired By Katherine Johnson
Two years ago, moviegoers fell in love with the little-known stories of three African-American women who were trailblazers at NASA during the 1950s and 1960s.
The 2016 film adaptation of Hidden Figures saw the work of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine finally recognized and celebrated on a massive platform. Now Johnson, a former NASA mathematician and physicist who calculated trajectories, launch windows, and emergency backup return paths for several space missions, will have her very own Barbie Doll.
Dressed in a pink dress and black-rimmed glasses, Johnson’s doll is part of Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series, a line of dolls that Mattel hopes will empower little girls.
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“Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie, and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything,” Mattel vice president Lisa McKnight said in a statement.
In 2015, then-President Barack Obama called Johnson “a pioneer” while presenting her with America’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“In her 33 years at NASA, Katherine was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science, and reach for the stars,” he said.
Along with Johnson, pilot Amelia Earhart and Mexican artist Frida Kahlo are also included in the series, which is slated to go on sale May 10.