Mattel is honoring frontline staff with dolls modeled on real-life docs and nurses. Amongst them is a doll model of Amy O’Sullivan, a nurse on the Wyckoff Heights Medical Heart in Brooklyn, who appeared on the quilt of TIME for the journal’s 100 Most Influential Individuals listing final yr. The doll has hand-painted tattoos, silver hair and the colourful socks O’Sullivan wears each day to work.
O’Sullivan was notably touched by the small print of her doppelgänger. “I used to get a tough time from the directors about my tattoos and my hair and my pants being rolled up. However I didn’t wish to be like anybody else,” she says. “I’m 58 so I had no function fashions once I was rising up. This, I believe, reveals children it’s O.Ok. to be totally different. It encourages them to be themselves.”
Nurse Amy O’Sullivan with the Mattel doll
Courtesy Amy O’Sullivan
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The 5 different dolls are modeled on Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a health care provider in Las Vegas who’s campaigning towards racial bias towards Asian-American physicians, Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a psychiatry resident in Canada who’s combating racism within the well being care system, Sarah Gilbert, a professor within the U.Ok. who helped develop a COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, a biomedical researcher who led the sequencing of the genome of the COVID-19 variant in Brazil and Dr. Kirby White, a normal practitioner in Australia who developed reusable PPE for docs.
Every of the ladies was introduced together with her personal one-of-a-kind doll, and the toy firm introduced it’s going to donate $5 for each physician, nurse or paramedic Barbie bought at Goal to the First Responders’ Kids’s Program as a part of its #ThankYouHeroes marketing campaign. (The tribute dolls will not be on the market.) Mattel launched the marketing campaign final yr to offer again to communities in want. “This fall, admittedly, we thought we’d be additional alongside within the pandemic,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice chairman at Mattel and the worldwide model supervisor for the Barbie model. “However it was vital to honor these wonderful medical staff throughout the globe as we proceed to face a tough time.”
In her 62-year historical past, Barbie has held jobs as many various kinds of well being care staff, partly, McKnight says, as a result of youngsters develop relationships with their pediatricians early on. “We hope these dolls can spark vital conversations in regards to the pandemic,” she says. “Whereas it’s a considerably scary matter, we expect it opens the door to discussing these frontline staff who’re wonderful function fashions.”
Paola Kudacki for TIME
O’Sullivan says she by no means performed with Barbies rising up, although she did play with Ken dolls. Her accomplice, who can be a nurse, purchased their daughters the gender-neutral dolls that Mattel launched in 2019, and O’Sullivan says they beloved these dolls’ fluid identities.
O’Sullivan believes that her personal children and people she treats on the hospital perceive how vital frontline staff are. “Our 6-year-old desires to be a pet physician,” she says. “Our 14-year-old is occupied with being a surgeon. However they’ve actually realized the significance of nurses and docs.”
At the same time as O’Sullivan waxes lyrical about her doll, she admits she is not feeling notably optimistic in regards to the pandemic. “We simply can’t get away from it,” she says. “I see these younger individuals not carrying masks. And, you already know, these are the folks that COVID is affecting now, the youthful era. They’re turning into very sick. And it’s by no means going to go away till we get vaccinated and put on masks.”