Mattel has unveiled a new one-of-a-kind Barbie doll in the likeness of the popular broadcaster, Clara Amfo as part of the toy maker’s ongoing UK Barbie Role Model campaign.
Best known for hosting her Radio One show, Amfo has interviewed some of the world’s most prolific artists, from Jay-Z to Ariana Grande. She also hosts her own successful podcast, This City, in which famous friends tell their stories about London life.
On top of this, Amfo has also hosted coverage for Glastonbury Festival, The BRIT Awards, and the BAFTAs, as well as documentaries like Running with Grief in 2016, in which Amfo explored the impact of losing a parent.
Partnering with Amfo this year, Barbie will be encouraging girls to ‘raise their voice’ with a call to women and girls on why it is important to stand up for yourself and your beliefs, how to build confidence, and how young girls can be empowered to believe in their potential.
In summer last year, amid the shockwaves felt around the death of George Floyd, Amfo made a powerful on-air speech with a call to action for anti-racism that went viral. She became widely recognised as a powerful force for change across UK media, joining 15 other activists on the cover of the September issue of British Vogue.
Amfo said: “I have been lucky enough to experience some really special moments in my professional life and to say that I am honoured to be named a Barbie Role Model would be an understatement.
“There is so much power in being able to see yourself reflected positively in the world as an adult and it’s even more potent as a child. That power and the confidence that comes with it should only be protected and amplified.
“For me, having this doll represents the infinite possibility that I believe we all have a right to and my only wish it that it will do the same for anyone who sees her.”
Honouring female role models is one of the ways the Barbie brand is working to close the Dream Gap; the time when girls start to doubt that they can be anything. The Barbie Dream Gap Project is an ongoing global initiative that aims to give girls the resources and support they need to continue to believe in themselves.
One of the ways that Amfo and Barbie will be working together is in partnership with grassroots London project Milk Honey Bees and its mission to celebrate black girlhood by creating an expressive, safe space that allows young Black women and girls to flourish through one-to-one sessions and creative group projects.
Barbie will also be making a donation to Milk Honeybees to support a creative writing community project, launch a series of social videos spotlighting Milk Honey Bees and Amfo, to celebrate girlhood, and sponsor Milk Honey Bee’s first appearance at the Women of the World Festival on 13th March.
Meanwhile, Barbie will continue to highlight role models from around the world timed to International Women’s Day. The doll brand has so far highlighted the boundary-breaking stories of more than 60 historical and modern-day role models from diverse backgrounds and fields to help inspire the next generation to believe they can be anything.
In the UK, previous Sheroes include Dina Asher-Smith, Fastest Woman in British History, 2020. Sky Brown, Champion Skateboarder, 2020. Adwoa Aboah, Activist & Model, 2019. Nicola Adams, Boxer, 2018.
Global Sheroes include US Olympian Fencer Ibtihaj Muhammed, Filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Gymnast Gabby Douglas, Model and Body Activist Ashley Graham and Actress Zendaya.