Adwoa Aboah Is The Latest Ambassador For Barbie's Dream Gap Project
Ahead of International Women’s Day, Barbie announced British model and founder of online community Gurls Talk, Adwoa Aboah as their latest “Shero”. Last year the brand announced the launch of The Dream Gap Project which responded to research that revealed that, starting at age 5, many girls begin to develop limiting self-beliefs. They stop believing their gender can do or be anything.
As a mum to two girls, Barbie doesn’t have a great reputation in my house…or at least, it didn’t until I learned more about it’s Dream Gap Project. Like many, I had long since dismissed Barbie as an unhealthy female icon totally ignorant to the varieties of women in all their glorious shapes, sizes, colours, abilities and sexualities (don’t even get me started on Ken). Since becoming a parent to two girls - Barbie’s target market - I have never bought a doll (although Granny did return home from the charity shop with a couple) and I’d rather they watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre than the Barbie cartoon. But, I’m wondering if, with the launch of The Dream Gap Project, Barbie might be starting to convince me otherwise.
The project which is, “an ongoing global initiative that aims to give girls the resources and support they need to continue to believe that they can be anything,” was a necessary move for a brand that had rested on its laurels and failed to catch up with the times. Barbie, in her original form, rightly came under attack for promoting unhealthy body images and for not representing all women. Considering, Barbie saw itself as the ‘original girl empowerment brand’, something had to be done.
The Dream Gap Project is smart and while I imagine that the Barbie brand still has a way to go in terms of winning over the hearts of parents, there’s a sense that this is a considered and thoughtful move. It’s an initiative that’s been introduced with the idea of longevity and it’s one that appears to be trying to harness its appeal and influence over young girls for the power of good.
They’ve recently been recruiting inspirational women who are breaking boundaries from around the globe to promote the Dream Gap initiative. They have honoured 20 women across multiple countries and continents ranging from 19 to 85 years old, speaking 14 languages and are building a resource platform for girls to help empower them, build their confidence and prevent self-limiting beliefs.
The sad fact is that girls are three times less likely to be given a science based toy to play with; that parents are twice as likely to google ‘is my son gifted?’ than ‘Is my daughter gifted?’ Through The Dream Gap Project, Barbie will donate $1 from every doll sold in the United States to the Barbie Dream Gap Project Fund. This fund will be dedicated to supporting like-minded organizations who are leveling the playing field for girls, while raising awareness to limiting factors that prevent girls from reaching their full potential.
Now they’ve enlisted the help of British model and activist, Adwoa Aboah, and launched her Barbie (probably one of the most amazing Barbie’s I’ve ever seen) to coincide with International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March. Watch the video below to see why she’s signed up to the project and what she thinks of it.
Is it enough to get me to lift the ban on Barbies in the house? Yes. But the annoying TV show? No, sorry.