A FILIPINA American physician in Las Vegas, who has been transformed into a Barbie doll for her frontline work during the COVID-19 pandemic, is inspiring others that they can “make a difference” regardless of their background.
Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a frontline worker who joined forces with other Asian American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination, was among the global lineup of women honored with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll as part of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes program.
“This doll is a reminder that it doesn’t matter what your skin color is or what background you come from. You matter,” she said in an Instagram post on Monday, August 9.
“You can speak your mind. You can follow your dreams. You can make a difference. Cheers to diversity. And cheers to frontline workers all over the country who have fought and continue to fight this pandemic,” she added.
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Last week, the Fil-Am doctor took to Instagram to announce her part in Mattel’s signature program.
“With this honor, I hope to shine a light on the commitment and compassion all frontline workers exhibited over the past year and a half and every single day. I hope to represent minorities in America and encourage cultural advocacy,” Cruz wrote on August 5.
“I hope to represent working moms who are balancing their careers while raising a family. And I hope to show all young women that they can be ANYTHING they want to be — even a physician mom and engineering grad like this girl,” she added.
Cruz also dedicated her doll to “anyone who was ever told that they couldn’t do anything.”
“This is for all the little girls who never felt like they fit in. This is for all the working moms who bust their butts every day for the families. This is for anyone who has ever had to STRUGGLE and HUSTLE to make a name for themselves. This is for you,” she said in a separate post.
The five other Barbie dolls are modeled after Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa from Canada, Professor Sarah Gilbert from the United Kingdom, Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus from Brazil, Dr. Kirby White from Australia, and Nurse Amy O’Sullivan from New York.
“Barbie recognizes that all frontline workers have made tremendous sacrifices when confronting the pandemic and the challenges it heightened,” said Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie & dolls at Mattel in a statement.
The toy company said that they are sharing the stories of the global frontliners with hopes “to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes,” McKnight added.
Mattel will donate $5 for each eligible Barbie doctor, nurse and paramedic doll sold at Target to the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), benefiting the children of first responders.
Its #ThankYouHeroes program was created in 2020 to honor individuals who have led the fight against COVID-19, as well as the everyday heroes who have kept communities up and running.