Fil-Am physician in Las Vegas honored as Barbie doll for frontline fight against COVID

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a physician in Las Vegas, is celebrated with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll as part of Mattel’s #ThankYouHeroes program. | Photo courtesy of Instagram/@dr.audreyxsue

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.

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.

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz is one of six real-life pandemic heroes honored with a custom Barbie doll. Photo courtesy of Mattel

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.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

  1. I think it’s pretty sad when you advertise a doll then go back on your word that it’s going ti be for sale at target As a women of color this doll represents many women girls of color and we’d like to be able to buy this for our daughters to show them they matter I’m upset that a company as big as Mattel would do such a cold hearted thing, it’s bad enough that we are called names from the white race but this doll gives our daughters hope that yes we can grow up and be what our hearts tell us that we are respected and that a company as big as Mattel is not afraid to show the world they have taken that step to insure our daughters granddaughters that you can be what ever your heart leads you,
    To be, but I was wrong as many companies only will put a black or white doll and meanwhile my daughter stands snd looks at the barbies and doesn’t see herself so disappointed in your company, my child instead picks a black barbi because she’s the closes one to her own skin color , sad there are hundreds of Filipino and. Latina girls that aren’t represented with any doll that looks like them! Here was your chance to sell so many dolls for the Filipino latino people and you blue it! Shame on you! One day you’ll wish you jumped on this because las a mother I can tell you whom ever makes that doll of latin skin will be making big bucks, guess you haven’t heard there are more latino people now in this country then white , tag your it don’t miss an opportunity that can put $$$ in your business ! You’ll be sorry this I know!

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