On Tuesday, toy company Mattel introduced a doll modeled after primate researcher Jane Goodall. The Barbie has freckles, a blonde ponytail, and wears a wristwatch and beige clothing commonly worn during field research in the early 1960s.
The toy set also includes binoculars and a blue notebook, which Goodall used to record her behavioral observations. In a video posted to Instagram, Goodall says, playing with the Barbie doll, “I’ve never been out without my binoculars.”
The chimpanzee “David Greybeard” should also be included. The primate was one of Goodall’s favorite monkeys and was the first animal that the researcher studied in detail during her field studies.
In an Instagram video, the primate researcher presented her modeled Barbie and accessories.
Looking at the doll, the now 88-year-old muses: “Actually, I’ve been suggesting for a long time that girls don’t just want to be movie stars and things like that. But many of them, like me, want to be in nature and study animals.” So a Barbie doll named Jane is a great idea, according to the world-famous naturalist.
In her own childhood, Goodall hardly had any female role models, according to the primate researcher. Her role models at the time were primarily “Tarzan” and “Dr. Doolittle” who could talk to animals. Looking back at her youth, the 88-year-old summed it up, “There were no women who did the things I wanted to do.”
The US toy manufacturer Mattel has been using Barbie dolls for a long time, which are intended to depict a more diverse image of society. In the 1990s, the most common Barbies were still primarily characterized by pink clothes, blond hair and bright makeup.
In terms of equipment, the dolls were less impressive because of their jobs and more because of their hobbies. The Barbies were accordingly equipped with inline skates, microphones, pets or a pink convertible.
A look at Mattel’s website reveals that the toy company has now expanded its range. Barbies with extensive camping equipment, animal photographers, pilots, dentists and alternative Ken dolls are currently available there. In addition, dolls in rainbow clothing, as so-called “curvy” models or Barbies in wheelchairs or with prostheses are offered.