British primatologist Jane Goodall has got a Barbie in her likeness, fulfilling a longtime wish of having her own doll to inspire young girls.
Mattel Inc unveiled the new Barbie, which the toymaker says is made from recycled plastic, as part of its Inspiring Women Series, nodding to Goodall’s groundbreaking studies of chimpanzees and conservation efforts.
Dressed in a khaki shirt and shorts and holding a notebook, Goodall’s doll has a pair of binoculars around her neck and David Greybeard by her side, a replica of the first chimpanzee to trust the primatologist as she conducted her research at Gombe National Park, in what is now Tanzania in east Africa.
“Mattel has changed its range of dolls and there’s all kinds of astronauts and doctors and things like that. So many children learn about me at school. They’ll be thrilled to have the Barbie doll.”
“When I got to Gombe, it was beautiful, my dream had come true,” she said. “But for four months the chimps ran away from me…so although the forest was wonderful, I couldn’t enjoy it until this David Greybeard lost his fear and helped the others to lose their fear too.”
“I see us at the mouth of a very long, very dark tunnel with a little shining star at the end and it’s no good sitting at the mouth of the tunnel and saying ‘Oh, I hope that star comes to us.’ Hope is about action,” Goodall said.
“We… work around all these obstacles between us and the star, which is climate change, loss of biodiversity, poverty, unsustainable lifestyles, pollution, you name it. And as we go along the tunnel, we reach out to others because there are people working on each one of these problems but so often they’re working in silos.”