Mattel to release Rosa Parks, Sally Ride Barbie dolls
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Mattel will release Barbie dolls modeled after civil rights hero Rosa Parks and astronaut Sally Ride, according to CNN.

"Both Sally Ride and Rosa Parks made the world better for future generations of girls," a Mattel spokesperson told CNN, adding that the announcement was timed to coincide with Women’s Equality Day. "By celebrating their achievements with dolls made in their likeness, we hope girls will be inspired to pursue their dreams."


Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus boycott in 1955 when she refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger. Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP at the time and, after the boycott, became active in the fight against housing discrimination in Detroit. She passed away in 2005.

Ride, meanwhile, was the first American woman in space and the third woman in space overall and, at 32, set the record for youngest American ever to enter space, which still has not been broken. She left NASA in 1987.

While Ride was private about her personal life, her obituary revealed that her childhood friend, psychology professor Tam O’Shaughnessy, had been her partner for more than 25 years, making her the first known LGBTQ astronaut as well. Ride passed away in 2012.

"Women's Equality Day celebrates the hard-won achievement of women's suffrage and pays tribute to the trailblazers who paved the way for future generations," a Mattel spokesperson told CNN.

The company has produced other dolls based on historically significant women in the past as part of its Inspiring Women Series, including NASA scientist Katherine Johnson, pilot Amelia Earhart, and artist and activist Frida Kahlo.