Barbie Honored a Filipino-American Doctor With Her Own Doll

One of six global frontliners Mattel is honoring.

The world’s most popular doll, Barbie, has introduced a line of one-of-a-kind dolls honoring real life heroes: medical frontliners. And one of them is of a Filipino-American doctor.

Dr. Audrey Sue Cruz, a physician based in Las Vegas, is one of six women whom Mattel, the company that manufactures the toys, is honoring with a doll made in their likeness.

Photo by Instagram / dr.audreyxsue.

“Experts in their fields who have shown unprecedented courage during a challenging time, these six role models made a positive impact in their communities, inspiring current and future generations for years to come,” Mattel said in a statement.

The description for Cruz, who is one of the two women representing the United States, says she is a frontline worker who, “during the pandemic, joined forces with other Asian-American physicians to fight racial bias and discrimination.”

“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,” she said in an Instagram post. “I hope to represent minorities in America and encourage cultural advocacy. 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.”


“This doll is a reminder that it doesn’t matter what your skin color is or what background you come from,” she added in a separate post. “You matter. You can speak your mind. You can follow your dreams. You can make a difference."

According to Cruz, the doll is currently not for sale in stores, but those interested to purchase one can email Mattel at [email protected].

In addition to Cruz, the other six frontliners honored with a Barbie doll made in their likeness are:

1| Amy O’Sullivan, RN (United States) - Emergency Room nurse Amy O’Sullivan treated the first COVID-19 patient in Brooklyn at the Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, became ill and was intubated, then a few weeks later returned to work to continue taking care of others.

2| Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa (Canada)- A psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto, Canada, Dr. Oriuwa has advocated against systemic racism in healthcare, which has been further highlighted by the pandemic. 

3| Professor Sarah Gilbert (United Kingdom) - As a professor of vaccinology, Professor Gilbert led the development of the University of Oxford vaccine in the U.K.

4| Dr. Jaqueline Goes de Jesus (Brazil) - As a biomedical researcher, Dr. Goes is credited for leading the sequencing of the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil.

5| Dr. Kirby White (Australia) - A General Practitioner in Australia, Dr. White co-founded the Gowns for Doctors initiative – by developing a PPE gown that could be laundered and re-used, allowing frontline workers in Victoria, AU to continue seeing patients during the pandemic.

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Photo by Mattel.

“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 of Mattel in the statement. “To shine a light on their efforts, we are sharing their stories and leveraging Barbie’s platform to inspire the next generation to take after these heroes and give back. Our hope is to nurture and ignite the imaginations of children playing out their own storyline as heroes.”

Mattel also announced that it is donating $5 for each eligible Barbie doctor, nurse and paramedic doll sold at Target in the U.S. to the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), benefiting the children of first responders.

It is estimated that one billion Barbie dolls have been sold since it was introduced in 1959.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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