At only 26 years old, Goodall broke barriers when she traveled from England to Tanzania with the goal of learning more about chimpanzees. On this endeavor, she learned that chimpanzees make and use tools similar to the way humans do. It was her research of wild chimpanzees that led to the creation of the Jane Goodall Institute (JDI) which to this day helps continue Goodall's goal of saving the natural world shared by everyone.
Goodall's Barbie doll will be created in her likeness with a classic beige safari outfit and binoculars, a wrist watch and a tiny blue handheld notebook. The doll is accompanied by a miniature replica of David Greybeard, the first male chimpanzee Goodall named and discovered — and he's even holding a tiny tool.
Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls for Mattel, says both the Goodall doll, and a collection of "Career of the Year" dolls spotlighting roles in conservation and eco-leadership, are part of Barbie's commitment to sustainability.
"Kids need more role models like Jane Goodall, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning," McKnight tells Yahoo Life. "Seeing it makes all the difference: We hope this collection and homage to a groundbreaking pioneer for women in science and conservation inspires kids to learn more about green careers and how they can protect the planet, and act out sustainable stories through doll play."
Not only does Goodall continue to serve as an inspiration today, but Barbie continues to inspire young girls with its other dolls and initiatives. With more than 200 careers, Barbie's Career of the Year lineup aims to educate girls on positions in fields kids may not be familiar with or where women tend to be underrepresented.
This year, the Eco-Leadership Team dolls highlight four positions within the industry including chief sustainability officer, conservation scientist, renewable energy engineer and environmental advocate. Not only is this career line the first of its kind, but it's also the first to be certified carbon neutral and made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.
The new Goodall-inspired Barbie doll will also be part of the brand's Inspiring Women series, which highlights brave women who took risks, made changes and paved the way for future generations. Earlier this year, Barbie paid tribute to Ida B. Wells and Queen Elizabeth II. The series has also paid tribute to other powerful women including Maya Angelou, Helen Keller and Eleanor Roosevelt.
In a video interview provided to Yahoo by Mattel, Goodall said she was "really happy" when she heard that "Jane Barbie doll" was going to be made.
"Actually, I've been suggesting it for a long time that girls don't want just to be film stars and things like that, but many of them — like me — want to be out in nature, studying animals," Goodall said. "And so, a Barbie doll who's Jane is a super idea."
While Goodall's environmental work is being recognized with the doll, Barbie has also taken the initiative to reconsider the brand's sustainability efforts across all areas, following in her footsteps.
Barbie has achieved 95% recycled or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified content in the paper and wood fiber used in their packaging. Additionally, all of the brand's 2022 fashions sold in Barbie Fashion Packs are now made from 100% recycled plastic, excluding trim. Mattel's goal is to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials across all its products and packaging by 2030.
The Jane Goodall Barbie doll will be available at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Mattel.com for $35 starting this July. The 2022 Career of the Year Eco-Leadership team will also be available this July at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Mattel.com.
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