Barbie's latest muse is model and feminist activist Adwoa Aboah

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Anna Brech
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Model and mental health activist Adwoa Aboah

Girls can achieve anything that they want – just ask Barbie’s latest “Shero” doll

For the past five years, Barbie has looked to shake off her vacuous reputation in the fast-changing sphere of gender politics. 

And, as the iconic doll turns 60 this year, she’s turning to supermodel and activist Adwoa Aboah for inspiration. 

Aboah is one of a group of game-changing women who’ve been honoured with their own “Shero” Barbie doll to mark International Women’s Day this week (Friday 8 March). 

By sharing stories of women “from all walks of life”, Barbie’s creator Mattel hopes to drive forward its Dream Gap Project to empower young girls with the belief that they can do and achieve anything. 

Aboah’s international modelling career has seen her walk the runway for the likes of Dior and Chanel. She’s also the founder of Gurls Talk, an open online community where young women can talk about issues such as self-care and mental health. 

“Life is mad and wonderful and I’m in total shocked and so excited to finally share with you my very own @Barbie Shero doll today,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “This is a dream come true!”

In 2017, Aboah was named the British Fashion Council’s Model of the Year, and her Barbie outfit is based on the ensemble she wore at that key moment in her career.

Hand-created by a team of Barbie artists, it shows her a wearing a Halpern dress, Stephen Jones turban and Christian Louboutin platform sandals.

“To see my own doll that has my freckled skin, skin colour, shaved head and my tattoos is so meaningful to me,” the model tells Vogue.

“Leading from her personal experiences, Adwoa founded Gurls Talk to be a completely open online platform, where anyone and everyone can share their experiences in a safe, judgement-free space,” says Barbie, introducing the Adwoa Shero. 

“Gurls Talk was founded on the idea that by coming together young women will become individually and collectively stronger, inspire each other, and influence a positive impact on the world.”

Other role models honoured with a doll in Barbie’s hall of Shero fame include Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, boxing champion Nicola Adams OBE, and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. 

Earlier this year, Barbie unveiled two dolls with disabilities, in a welcome move to diversify its range.

Lead image: Getty 


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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.