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‘Let’s break some plastic ceilings’: Barbie celebrates 60th with new role models

Click to play video 'Barbie set to reach 60 years one day after International Women’s Day' Barbie set to reach 60 years one day after International Women’s Day
WATCH (March 8, 2019): Barbie is set to reach 60 years old on Saturday, a day after International Women's Day and in honour, the Empire State Building is set to be lit pink – Mar 8, 2019

In the words of Aqua’s 1997 pop hit: “Come on Barbie, let’s go party!”

Barbie celebrated her 60th anniversary on Saturday and International Women’s Day on Friday with the addition of new dolls inspired by real, successful women to its “Role Model” collection.

“The Barbie role model program is Mattel’s way of honouring women who are breaking boundaries to inspire the next generation of girls,” said Lisa Perry, brand manager for Mattel Canada, in a statement.

Barbie has had more than 200 careers throughout her history. The company launched the Dream Gap project in 2018, which raises money from sold dolls to support organizations who are helping girls reach their full potential.

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WATCH: Barbie and Toys”R”Us team up to showcase inspiring women and girls

Barbie is saluting more than 20 women around the world.

The role models include a Maori journalist, an artist, a mountaineer, a director, a scientist, a surfer, a truck driver, a boxer, an aviation pioneer, a conservationist, a mathematician, a chef, a ballerina — and a Canadian Olympic ice dancer.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, compete in the ice dance figure skating free dance at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, in Gangneung, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Virtue gets dolled up

Tessa Virtue, donning her red dress she wore in the free dance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, is officially a Barbie.
Tessa Virtue, donning her red dress she wore in the free dance at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, is officially a Barbie.

“That dress was a no-brainer,” she told The Morning Show on Friday.

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READ MORE: Not everyone likes Barbie’s new body

Virtue said she grew up playing with Barbies — imagining herself as a gymnastics coach, a teacher, and an astronaut — and “toting them everywhere.”

“I know now that that was the way that I was exploring my world and my surroundings, and thinking about what I was capable of because my Barbie could do and be anything,” she said. “That’s really powerful.”

“So excited and honoured to be part of it,” Virtue tweeted Wednesday. “More to come, need to collect my emotions first.”

Virtue and Scott Moir ended the Pyeongchang Games as the most decorated figure skaters in Olympic history with three gold and two silver medals.

The Barbie website called Virtue “one-half of a team known for their legendary elegance, athleticism, innovation, and their unparalleled ability to skate in unison.”

READ MORE: Barbie gets new shoes – and for the first time, they’re flats

“Tessa, like other honourees, was chosen because through hard work, determination and dedication, she shows girls every day that you can be anything,” Perry said.

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WATCH (March 8, 2019): Tessa Virtue on International Women’s Day and becoming a Barbie

Click to play video 'Tessa Virtue becomes immortalized as a Barbie' Tessa Virtue becomes immortalized as a Barbie
Tessa Virtue becomes immortalized as a Barbie – Mar 8, 2019

– With files from The Canadian Press