Barbie Takes On New Career As Judge

The newest doll from American toy company Mattel is commanding attention and demanding order. On Monday the iconic Barbie brand released its newest playmate — Judge Barbie. The news comes as more Black women judges continue to elevate to the country’s benches.

In a press release announcing the addition, the brand said that it chose the profession to inspire young girls to pursue careers in the judicial space. Currently, in the United States, women make up just a third of sitting state judges. 

The brand also consulted with the National Association of Women Judges to ensure that their newest doll was a true representation of a woman judge in this country. Cloaked in a traditional black robe and armed with a gavel, young girls can “imagine themselves protecting the rights of others and delivering judgments,” the brand says.

Judge Barbie sits behind a bench and in front of an American flag
Just one-third of women occupy seats on the country’s benches. Mattel hopes to change that by inspiring young women with their newest doll, Judge Barbie.
(Photo courtesy of Mattel)

“Since 1959, Barbie has inspired the limitless potential in every girl and we’re proud that today the brand has the most diverse and inclusive doll line on the market,” Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Dolls at Mattel told ESSENCE. “To remind girls they can be anything, we celebrate underrepresented career fields through our careers line in the hopes to pique their interest in new roles and maybe even help them envision serving their community on the judicial bench one day.” 

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Earlier this year, 17 Black women in Harris County, Texas made history after being sworn into their judicial positions. It is said to be was the largest number of Black women judges to be elected at the same time in the county’s standing. The election of the women, dubbed “Harris Black Girl Magic,” came just two years after nine Black women were historically elected judges in Alabama.

If Mattel has its way, these historic elections will become commonplace. “The Barbie Judge Doll encourages girls to learn more about making decisions to change the world for the better,” the brand says.