In celebration of their 60th anniversary and International Women’s Day, Barbie proudly honors #MoreRoleModels than ever from around the globe in an effort to inspire more girls.
Singer, Songwriter & Entrepreneur 2019 Barbie Shero
LIRA, whose music career spans 15 years and includes six studio albums; three live DVD’s; an autobiography; 3 seasons of a documentary TV series; and a full feature movie, has established herself as one of the foremost female artists in South Africa; as well as a formidable presence on the global music scene.
LIRA released her debut album All My Love in 2003. LIRA then signed to Sony Music in 2006 and released three albums, all three of which certified Platinum and subsequently won her numerous accolades and multiple South African Music Awards (SAMAs) – 12 to date.
Actress, Model & Activist, USA
Yara Shahidi is an actress, model, activist and breakout star of ABC’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated comedy series black-ish. Yara has been awarded an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress and a Gracie Award for Female in a Breakthrough Role. Recently, she also appeared on TIME magazine’s annual “30 Most Influential Teens” list as well as Forbes “30 Under 30” list in 2017 and 2018 for her television contributions and humanitarianism.
Her first major film Imagine That, opposite Eddie Murphy bolstered her love of acting. Yara’s new film from Warner Bros. The Sun is Also a Star will be released on May 2019 and explores a love story.
Tennis Player, JAPAN
Naomi Osaka is a professional tennis player who represents Japan. Born in Osaka to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, she became the first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam, defeating her childhood idol, Serena Williams, to capture victory at the 2018 U.S. Open. She followed up that feat by winning the 2019 Australian Open and reaching No.1 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings. Having been featured on the cover of TIME magazine in January 2019, Osaka will be the face of the 2020 games in Tokyo.
Activist & Supermodel, U.K.
British activist and supermodel Adwoa Aboah, is the founder of Gurls Talk, an online community where young women are free to discuss issues such as mental health, education, self-care, and relationships. 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, judgment-free space. The community is made up of a diverse mixture of people from across the globe. 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.
Kristina Vogel was born in Leninskoje, Russia in 1990. As a Russian-German, she moved to Germany when she was six months old. She discovered her enthusiasm for cycling by chance. The E.T. movie poster inspired Kristina to do her first circuits on a road bike in 2000. In 2005, she switched to track cycling. After participating in the first national “scouting race,” she was selected for the German national youth squad. She kept up her speed and won countless national and international titles. In 2009, Kristina suffered her first serious setback when a motorist cut in front of her. She spent two days in a coma and suffered several broken bones, resulting in four weeks in the hospital and three months of rehabilitation. Despite the danger of another crash, Kristina never questioned whether she should continue. She was driven by a dream: the 2012 Games in London. With an iron will, she managed to participate in the Track Cycling World Championships a mere nine months later. From then on, Kristina became unstoppable, winning medals and championships around the world.
On the way to her third Summer Games and becoming the best female track cyclist of all time, Kristina suffered another serious blow. In 2018, she collided with a Dutch junior cyclist and suffered several broken bones and injuries that resulted in paralysis, leading to life in a wheelchair. Three months after the serious crash, Kristina returned to the public eye with an emotional interview in Der Spiegel magazine and a public press conference where she shared, “Since my accident, I feel free.”
Kristina continues to persevere and share her story with the public. With her infectious vitality, she is a model for believing in yourself.
Gymnastics Champion, INDIA
Dipa started practicing gymnastics at the age of 6. When she began gymnastics, Dipa had ﬂat feet, an undesirable physical trait in a gymnast as it affects their performance. Through extensive training, she was able to develop an arch in her foot. In 2008, she won the Junior Nationals in Jalpaiguri. Since then, Dipa has won 77 medals, including 67 gold, in-state, national, and international championships. She ﬁrst gained attention when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, becoming the ﬁrst Indian female gymnast to do so in the history of the Games. She continued her good form at the 2014 Asian Games, where she ﬁnished fourth in the vault ﬁnal. She became the ﬁrst Indian gymnast to qualify for a ﬁnal
Visual Artist, CHINA
Chen Man is a Chinese contemporary visual artist and entrepreneur who created a unique visual language that revolutionized fashion photography in China. She has been interviewed by CNN, Vogue, Vogue Italia, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Der Tagesspiegel, and the French newspaper Libération. Chen Man was signed as a director by CAA and co-founded Vision, an Internet company that develops photography-based social apps such as Bigshot. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum and one of their Young Global Leaders.
Sports Journalist & Presenter, NEW ZEALAND
Melodie Robinson is a well-known New Zealand sports journalist and presenter. She was an international rugby union player who won two world cups with the New Zealand’s women’s team, the Black Ferns. In the position of blindside or openside flanker, Melodie played in 18 tests with the Black Ferns between 1996 and 2002. While playing rugby at the elite level, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Otago, as well as studying journalism in Wellington. Her first work was in radio, working at the press gallery in Wellington covering politics.
Mountaineer, Writer, & Lecturer, MEXICO
Karla Wheelock is a social entrepreneur, businesswoman, communicator, and mountain climber. She has a bachelor’s degree in Law from Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Mexico. In 1999, Karla became the first Latin-American woman to ascend Mount Everest from its northern slope. In 2005, she became the first Latin-American woman to summit the seven highest peaks on each continent (The Seven Summits). In recent years, Karla has supported several projects: “Mi Cumbre, Mi Decisión” (My Summit, My Decision) and the Mexican Leaders’ expeditions to Antarctica and the Young Mexican Leaders’ expeditions to Antarctica. Currently, Karla is a business and educational lecturer and a consultant at W Consultants.
Ice Dancing Champion, CANADA
Tessa Virtue is a Canadian ice dancer and one-half of a team known for their legendary elegance, athleticism, innovation, and their unparalleled ability to skate in unison. At the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Tessa and Scott Moir became the first ice dancers from North America to win gold, but they were also the first ice dance team to win on home ice, the first to win gold in their debut, and the youngest winning pair. At the 2014 Winter Games, they won silver in both the individual and team events. After taking two years off following the Games in Sochi, Tessa and Scott made a successful comeback to the competitive realm and went undefeated in the 2016/2017 season.
Lisa Azuelos is a French director, writer, and producer best known for acclaimed films such as LOL, and a Chance Encounter. She is a prominent active leader of empowering women in the film industry and is the president of the Yolove foundation.
Scientist in Regenerative Medicine & Bioastronautics, GREECE
Eleni Antoniadou is a Greek scientist in the fields of regenerative medicine and bioastronautics, with an interest in stem cell therapies to regenerate body parts and 3D-bioprinting for space applications. She is an advocate for organ donation, an activist against illegal organ trafficking, and a firm supporter of girls in STEM.
Rosanna Marziale was born in Caserta, in the Campania region north of Naples. Her father opened his first restaurant in the 1950s and it was where she grew up. Leaving the fold to develop her culinary talents, she trained with Martin Berasategui at his eponymously named three Michelin star restaurant on the outskirts of San Sebastián in northern Spain. She also worked under Gianfranco Vissani, at his two-star restaurant, Casa Vissani, in Baschi, central Italy. Here she learned the backbone of high-end, classical Italian cuisine, saying of the experience, “Gianfranco helped me realize my own style and voice in my cooking.”
ITA BUTTROSE, AO, OBE
Journalist & Editor, AUSTRALIA
Former Australian of the Year and legendary media trailblazer, Ita Buttrose created Cleo, the ground-breaking women’s magazine of the ‘70s, before becoming the youngest-ever editor of Australian Women’s Weekly, which per capita of the population, was the highest circulating magazine in the world at the time. She went on to become the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia when she was appointed editor-in-chief of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, and Sunday Telegraph. She has hosted prime time radio and TV shows, appearing most recently for five years as the co-host of Studio 10 on the Ten Network. She is a best-selling author of 11 books and a committed community and welfare contributor.
Actress, Talk Show Host, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador & Author, JAPAN
2019 Barbie Shero
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi was born in Tokyo, Japan. Her father was a violinist and a concertmaster of the NHK Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from Tomoe Gakuen, Koran Girls School and Tokyo College of Music (Vocal Music Department), she joined the NHK Broadcasting Theater. She is recognized as the first exclusive TV actress at NHK. Tetsuko trained in theatre at Tokyo’s Bungakuza theatre company and at the Mary Tarcai Studio in New York.
MARIANA COSTA CHECA
Entrepreneur & Activist, PERU
Mariana is the co-founder and CEO at Laboratoria, a social impact startup that is transforming Latin America’s tech sector into an example of diversity and inclusion by preparing thousands of women to launch careers in tech. For her work as a social entrepreneur, Mariana has received multiple recognitions, including being named one of the world’s most influential women by the BBC. She holds a bachelor of science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University in New York. She is originally from Lima, Peru.
Professional Truck Driver, POLAND
Iwona Blecharczyk turned her passion for traveling in trucks into a way of life and career. She has been doing what she loves for eight years, sharing her experiences online and above all, she proves that women can fulfill themselves in difficult professions.
Before Iwona Blecharczyk became a Trucking Girl, she was a fashion designer and teacher. Thanks to her extraordinary determination, she proved that woman can be professional truck drivers and break gender stereotypes.
Screenwriter & Columnist, TURKEY
Gülse Birsel is a Turkish screenwriter and columnist. She has worked as the editor-in-chief for several magazines like Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar in addition to authoring six books. Gülse made her first television debut on the TV channel, ATV, where she worked as both an actress and screenwriter on the series g.a.g. In January 2012, she began working as an actress and screenwriter on her new series at Kanal D TV channel, which lasted for four seasons. In March 2013, she became a columnist for the newspaper, Hürriyet. In December 2017, she wrote the screenplay and acted in her first feature film.
Big-Wave Surfer, BRAZIL
Maya Gabeira is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and is one of the best Big-Wave surfers. She started surfing at age 14 and during her career, she has been awarded five XXL Big-Wave Awards in the World Surf League category that judges the biggest waves of the year. She is also a winner of the ESPYS for Best Female Action Sports Athlete. In 2008, she became the first woman to surf in the Alaska Sea and won the 2010 Teen Choice Awards in the Female Athlete category of action sports.
TV Show Host & Rythmic Gymnastics Champion, RUSSIA
2019 Barbie Shero
Lyasan Utiasheva is a Russian TV show host, socialite, and former individual rhythmic gymnast who was a two-time Grand Prix Final all-around medalist. Lyasan’s breakthrough came in 2001 when she placed third at the Russian Championships. She competed at the 2001 World Cup in Berlin and won gold medals in All-around and the individual apparatus finals in clubs, ball, rope, and hoop. At the 2001 World Games in Akita, Japan.
Fencing Champion, USA
2017 Barbie Shero
Ibtihaj Muhammad was born on December 4, 1985, in Maplewood, New Jersey. She is an American sabre fencer and a member of the United States fencing team.
She discovered fencing when she was 13 years old and has gone on to earn numerous medals and accolades for her achievements in the sport. She won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games, becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal. And was the first Muslim-American woman to wear a hijab while competing.
As of 2016, Ibtihaj ranks No. 2 in the United States and No. 8 in the world. In 2014, Ibtihaj launched a clothing company to bring modest fashionable clothing to the U.S. market. She is also a sports ambassador, serving on the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls Through Sport initiative.
Fine Artist, Mexico
Barbie Inspiring Women Series
Artist, activist, and feminist icon, Frida Kahlo continues to be a symbol of strength, originality, and unwavering passion. Overcoming a number of obstacles to follow her dream of becoming a fine artist, Frida persevered and gained recognition for her unique style and perspective. With her vibrant palette and mix of realism and fantasy, she addressed important topics like identity, class, and race, making her voice-and the voices of girls and women alike-heard. Her extraordinary life and art continue to influence and inspire others to follow their dreams and paint their own realities.
Patty Jenkins is a writer and director best known for directing the Warner Bros. film, Wonder Woman, her debut Oscar-winning feature, Monster, and helming the pilot and finale episode of AMC’s The Killing. She began her career in painting after studying at Cooper Union. While there, she crossed over to filmmaking and went on to work as a camera person on commercials and music videos for nine years before attending the AFI in Los Angeles.
NICOLA ADAMS OBE
Boxing Champion, U.K.
Nicola Adams OBE was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire on October 26, 1982. She is Great Britain’s most successful female boxer of all time and the first female ever to win a gold medal in boxing. The two-time gold medalist in the only female boxer in the history of the sport to have held all four amateur titles.
Snowboarding Champion, USA
Chloe Kim is a first-generation Asian-American snowboarding champion and the new face of the sport. At 17 years old, she became the youngest woman to win a gold medal in snowboarding at the 2018 PyeongChang games.
Eighteen-year-old Bindi Irwin is an international award-winning wildlife conservationist and celebrity who inherited her father’s passion for wildlife and wild places. Born to Wildlife Warriors Steve and Terri Irwin, Bindi was literally born on television. By the age of nine, Bindi had appeared on numerous American talk shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Oprah, and Larry King Live.
Aviation Pioneer, USA
Amelia Earhart courageously challenged the conventions of the times by breaking and setting aviation records for women. She believed her accomplishments would prove men and women could be equal. In 1937, in what was to be a record-making flight as the first woman to fly around the world, her plane vanished without a trace. Her groundbreaking achievements, heroism, and the long-lasting contributions she made in aviation live on, inspiring others to soar in their own adventures.
Model and Body Activist, U.S.
2016 Barbie Shero
Ashley Graham is an American model who has become one of the most popular faces in the modeling industry. She is hailed for breaking stereotypes for being a curvy model (the term Ashley prefers over “plus-sized”).
NASA Mathematician and Physicist, USA
Katherine Johnson was an African-American pioneer in mathematics who broke through barriers of race and gender. In the mid-1950s, she joined a pool of women hired by NASA to work as human computers. Katherine calculated the trajectory of NASA’s first American-manned flight into space.
Principal Ballerina, USA
Misty Copeland is an acclaimed American ballet dancer and the first African-American to be appointed to principal dancer. She was considered a prodigy who rose to stardom despite not starting ballet until the age of 13. She was dancing en pointe three months after taking her first dance class and performing professionally in just over a year, a feat unheard of for any classical dancer.
World-Renowned Chef, France
Hélène Darroze is an inspirational fourth-generation French chef with two Michelin stars and three restaurants. After graduating from university, she joined Alain Ducasse’s team at the prestigious Le Louis XV restaurant in Monaco. In 1995, she received the keys to her father’s kitchen and spent the next four years refining her culinary style. At 32, she opened her first restaurant in Paris which was awarded one Michelin star. She then caught the attention of one of London’s landmark hotels, leading to the opening of Hélène Darroze at the Connaught in 2008, which was awarded two Michelin stars.
Soccer Player, Italy
Sara Gama was born in Trieste, Italy, on March 27, 1989. She started playing soccer when she was seven years old. After playing on several teams including Tavagnacco, Chiasiellis, Pali Blues, Brescia, and Paris Saint-Germain, she became the captain of the new women’s team of Juventus in 2017.
Martyna Wojciechowska is a journalist, explorer, traveler, writer, producer, movie director, and fighter for women’s empowerment around the world. From an early age, she dared to dream about things “not meant for girls” and pursued those dreams against all odds.
Gymnastics Champion, USA
Gabby Douglas is an American gymnast who became the first African-American in history to win the individual all-around event at the 2012 Games in London. She also won team first-place medals in 2012 and 2016.
Film Director, USA
Ava Duvernay is an American film director, writer, and producer. Ava became the first African-American female director to receive a Golden Globe nomination and have a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Designer and Entrepreneur, Germany
2018 Barbie Shero
Leyla Piedayesh was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1970. She is the founder of fashion label lala Berlin. After studying business administration, Leyla first came into contact with fashion professionally as editor of the television show, Designerama, on German MTV. In 2003, she began exploring her own design talent by making knitted accessories. Her celebrated debut collection was launched in 2004 at the fashion tradeshow Premium in Berlin where her trademark look was cashmere scarves with Palestinian style. The symbiosis of urban cool, elegant chic and high-quality knitwear really took off, and lala Berlin was born.
Since then, lala Berlin has grown to represent more than knitwear, but to encompass Berlin’s big-city, bohème and avant-garde style that the brand conveys to the rest of the world.