The programme is part of the brand’s commitment to honour women who are breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls.
The only active female astronaut in Europe, Samantha Cristoforetti, has been presented with a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness as a result of the collaboration. The 42-year-old is an aviator, engineer and astronaut, and is the first Italian female crew member of the European Space Agency. She said that she hoped that this collaboration with Barbie ‘will help young girls and boys to dream about their future without limits’.
This collaboration is part of the Barbie Dream Gap Project, an on-going initiative focused on levelling the playing field for girls across the globe. By highlighting the fact that only 15% of active astronauts are female, and that no woman has ever landed on the moon, the Barbie brand is continuing in its mission to close the Dream Gap – the age at which girls begin to doubt their potential and lose faith in themselves.
As the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon-landing approaches, a series of motivating new short-form videos aimed at parents and young girls will be released to kick off the collaboration showing Samantha welcoming girls from the Germany, UK, France and Italy into the ESA European Astronaut centre in Cologne, Germany. Kid-targeted content on Barbie’s successful YouTube vlogger channel will also highlight Samantha’s remarkable achievements.
Isabel Ferrer, European director of marketing for Barbie, said: “We are proud to launch this collaboration with the ESA with a clear goal: to inspire girls to become the next generation of astronauts, engineers and space scientists. Barbie has always shown girls that they can be anything, giving them the opportunity to interpret different roles through play and embark on countless number of careers encouraging imagination and self-expression. We know how important it is for girls to have role models, and this new ESA collaboration helps us to take this to an astronomical new level.”