LONDON — U.S. TV producer and writer Shonda Rhimes, British make-up artist Pat McGrath and French blogger Lena Mahfouf are being honored with Barbie dolls in their likeness as part of a celebration of female business founders.
In its latest Barbie role models line-up, toy maker Mattel is paying tribute to women from around the world, including Sonia Peronaci, founder of Italian cooking website “GialloZafferano” and German digital entrepreneur Tijen Onaran.
Rhimes, whose Shondaland Media company is behind hit Netflix series “Bridgerton” and “Inventing Anna”, took to Instagram to share a picture of her doll from the collection ahead of International Women’s Day.
“I have my own Barbie! Proud to be among the 12 amazing women, all of which are breaking barriers in their respective careers,” Rhimes, also known for medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” and political series “Scandal”, wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
Other honorees include McGrath, a fixture backstage at fashion week shows and founder of Pat McGrath Labs, as well as 24-year-old Mahfouf, a social media influencer of Algerian heritage.
“It’s a huge honor and it’s something quite unbelievable because when I was younger we used to only have … a few models of Barbie and they all looked kind of the same – blonde, tall with straight hair – and I didn’t feel represented by that,” Mahfouf said. “So now to have my own Barbie with some curly hair and a bit darker skin, I’m happy to see that.”
Mattel said its global Barbie Dream Gap project was teaming up with charitable organization Inspiring Girls International to work with local schools in various countries delivering workshops and advice.
“It is crucial for girls to have role models, because you cannot really dream of becoming something if you haven’t seen it,” Inspiring Girls International founder Miriam Gonzalez Durantez said. “So having that visibility is crucial for girls.”
—Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Alison Williams