Mattel has just announced the newest 14 dolls in its Barbie Global Role Model series, and we're thrilled to see that San Francisco Ballet principal Yuan Yuan Tan has made the list. Tan joins the ranks of Misty Copeland, who was immortalized in Barbie form just last year.
The Barbie Shero program honors real women who have broken boundaries in their fields, and can act as an inspiration to the next generation of girls. Tan certainly fits that bill. She was both the youngest dancer ever promoted to principal in SFB's long history and the first Chinese-born ballerina to maintain a principal position at the top of the American ballet world. Her doll wears her Swan Lake Odette costume and is in relevé in white shoes (though any bunhead knows that those untucked ribbons would never pass). "It's important to me that young girls know that they can be anything they want to be, so they should dream big and never give up," Tan told the San Francisco Chronicle.
This newest crop of Sheros was released to coincide with International Women's Day on Thursday, March 8. Tan is in good company alongside Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins and designer and entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh, among others. The Role Model dolls are one of a kind and are not for sale, but nevertheless we always love when ballet is well represented in the mainstream. Mattel, the company behind Barbie, is seeking suggestions for other inspiring women via the #MoreRoleModels hashtag on social media. Which other dancers to you think should be added to the list?