First 'boxer Barbie' doll in likeness of Nicola Adams unveiled

A Barbie doll in the likeness of British double Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams has been unveiled for International Women's Day.

Barbie maker Mattel said it was "proud to honour" Adams with the one-off first "boxer Barbie" as part of its Shero programme recognising women who inspire girls with their achievements.

Adams said: "I am so excited and honoured to be Barbie's first ever UK Shero and the first ever boxer Barbie.

Two-time Olympic gold medallist boxing champion Nicola Adams with a one-of-a-kind 'Shero' Barbie doll in her likeness for International Women's Day.
Nicola Adams with the Barbie doll in her likeness for International Women's Day (Mattel/PA)

"Having my own Nicola Adams Barbie doll is so amazing and my hope is that everything I do helps more people realise they can do anything they put their mind to."

She added: "Without my own role models, I wouldn't be where I am today.

"Growing up, my biggest role models were my mum and Muhammad Ali - there were no female boxers in the media when I was a kid, and I might have discovered my passion sooner if I'd seen other women boxing.

"That's why empowering the next generation of kids is something I'm passionate about and it's great to work with Barbie to share my story now.

"I hope my doll inspires young girls to believe that they can break boundaries in whatever they choose to do."

Mattel said it was not planning to put the doll into production for sale, but the aim was to "inspire conversation" around role models.

The toymaker said its research had found 84% of UK mothers were worried about the type of role models their daughters were exposed to, and it wanted to "ignite a conversation around the importance of positive role models by shining a light on inspiring women".

Other women who are having dolls in their likeness include US snowboarder Chloe Kim, the Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin, the French chef Helene Darroze and the Chinese actress and philanthropist Guan Xiaotong.

Barbie senior vice president Lisa McKnight said: "As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honouring its largest line-up of role models timed to International Women's Day, because we know that you can't be what you can't see.

"Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real-life role models to remind them that they can be anything."

Barbie has also introduced an Inspiring Women line of dolls sold with educational information about the contributions each woman made to society, beginning with the artist Frida Kahlo, aviator Amelia Earhart and Katherine Johnson, one of a pool of women hired by Nasa to calculate the trajectory of the first American-manned flight into space.

The new lines follow a number of updates to the dolls in recent years, including a makeover for Barbie's companion Ken, including varying body sizes and skin tones, new Barbie body types - tall, curvy and petite - to widespread approval as part of efforts to modernise the global brand.

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