British Primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall gets her own Barbie Doll: ‘Hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders’
“I’ve seen…little girls playing with Barbie dolls … and I thought little girls need…some choice,” Goodall said. Conservationist Jane Goodall and the Barbie doll (Image credit: Brian Ach/Getty Images for TIME and @Barbie/Twitter)
Well-known primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall has got a Barbie in her likeness, fulfilling her longtime wish of having her own doll to inspire young girls.
American toy maker Mattel unveiled the new Barbie, made of recycled plastic, to recognise Goodall’s groundbreaking studies of chimpanzees and her conservation efforts.
The doll features Goodall in a khaki shirt and shorts, holding a notebook, with a pair of binoculars around her neck. It also has by its side a replica of David Greybeard, the first chimpanzee to trust the primatologist as she conducted her research at Gombe National Park in east Africa.
“I wanted a doll to be me even before this idea came up,” the British expert on chimpanzees said.
“I’ve seen…little girls playing with Barbie dolls … and I thought little girls need…some choice,” Goodall, famous for her study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees, said.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Barbie and encourage young children to learn from their environment and feel a sense that they can make a difference. Through this partnership, I hope to inspire the next generation of eco-leaders to join me in protecting our planet and remind them they can be anything, anywhere – on the field, in the lab, and at the table,” Sky News quoted her as saying.
“Mattel has changed its range of dolls and there are 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,” she said.
Goodall, 88, who began her research in east Africa in 1960, observed that chimpanzees make tools, hunt and eat meat and show compassion.
“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 David Greybeard lost his fear and helped the others to lose their fear too,” the primatologist recalled.
Mattel said it would also collaborate with the Jane Goodall Institute and her youth service movement Roots & Shoots to help teach children about the environment.