Barbie dolls get scientist makeover to inspire kids

American ecologist Nalini Nadkarni, National Geographic and Mattel supported project

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Barbie dolls get a long-awaited scientist makeover. (BarbieFansTaiwan photo)

Barbie dolls get a long-awaited scientist makeover. (BarbieFansTaiwan photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — American forest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni’s dream has come true with the launch of Barbie dolls who are dressed up as scientists.

Nadkarni, from the University of Utah, has been called "Queen of the Forest Canopy" by National Geographic. Her love of nature started as a child when her idea of fun was eating an apple and reading a book under the backyard tree after school, according to CNA.

The American toy manufacturer, Mattel Inc., and National Geographic, have launched a series of scientist Barbie dolls to break the stereotype of blond bimbos. The idea was first proposed by Nadkarni 10 years ago, but Mattel did not initially respond, CNA reported.


Nalini Nadkarni (Nalininadkarni.com photo)

She said it was a “dream comes true” for the scientist Barbie to finally become a reality. She added that when her daughter asked for a doll at 6 years old, she decided to give the doll a makeover and turned it into a scientific explorer, with a pair of rubber boots and a telescope around its neck.

With the help of tailors and secondhand materials, Nadkarni later turned some other Barbies into "protectors of the forest" and named them “Treetop Barbie.” CNA reported 400 “Treetop Barbies” have been sold so far.

Nadkarni told National Public Radio that a scientist Barbie is progress. She said girls will be inspired to discover and investigate nature for themselves.