A “thrilled” Julie Bishop now has a mini-me in the form of a Barbie doll after being named national role model of the year by toy-maker Mattel.
The company said Ms Bishop, who was Australia’s first female foreign minister and is also the first woman to be chancellor of the Australian National University, was a trailblazer and a great example to young girls.
“Julie was the first woman in Australia to serve as minister for foreign Affairs and the first woman to be deputy leader of the Liberal Party, and is recognised nationally and internationally for her trailblazing political career spanning over 20 years,” Mattel said.
Ms Bishop was presented with a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness – “the highest honour from the Barbie brand” – as part of the company’s Dream Gap Project. It aims to boost girls’ achievements and confidence.
Ms Bishop, who is also a member of the newly formed G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, said she was delighted to be a part of the initiative.
Sometimes nicknamed the “minister for fashion” during her time in politics, Ms Bishop was known for her array of stylish outfits. She said she “dressed as her authentic self even in the most hallowed halls of power”.
The new Barbie wears one of Ms Bishop’s most famous outfit – the blue Armani suit and red Rolo shoes she wore on the day she resigned from her role as foreign minister.
It also carries a miniature Australian passport and wheels a silver suitcase.
“I was genuinely thrilled to see a Barbie in my likeness, particularly as she was dressed in the outfit I wore when a resigned as Australia’s foreign minister, a political role that I was honoured to hold,” she said.
Ms Bishop is a keen collector of Barbie dolls and still has the first one she owned.
A gift from her parents when she was a child, Ms Bishop says the Jackie Kennedy Barbie inspired her love of fashion and politics.
She credits the doll with her early career aspirations, but revealed she didn’t always have her heart set on Australian politics.
“I played with this little doll and just dreamt of being a glamorous first lady,” she told the Today Show on Wednesday.
She also has an Australian Secret Intelligence Service Barbie, gifted to her by her colleagues in 2016.
“You would be surprised how many dolls I’ve got,” she said.
But parents won’t be able to gift their children a Julie Bishop Barbie. Ms Bishop’s version is a one-of-a-kind honour and not made for production.
Some critics on social media have asked why Julie Bishop was chosen, rather than Australia’s first female prime minister Julia Gillard.
But to the critics we say, relax – it’s just a Barbie doll.