"There were no female boxers in media when I was a kid."
Samuel Leighton-Dore

8 Mar 2018 - 9:52 AM  UPDATED 8 Mar 2018 - 9:52 AM

Barbie is getting a bit of a makeover, all in celebration of International Women's Day.

Earlier this week, Mattel announced the release of 17 dolls new based on historical and modern-day female role models, including filmmaker Patty Jenkins, conservationist Bindi Irwin, snowboarding champion Chloe Kim, aviator Amelia Earhart, and artist Frida Kahlo.

Among those honoured is openly bisexual boxer Nicola Adams.

"I am so excited and honored to be the first ever boxer Barbie," Adams said.

She continued, highlighting the importance of visibility in the media: "Without my own role models, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

"Growing up, my biggest role models were my mum and Muhammad Ali – there were no female boxers in media when I was a kid, and I might have discovered my passion sooner if I’d seen other women boxing."

The Nicola Adams Barbie doll comes with boxing gloves, workout gear embroidered with her "Lioness" nickname, and her trademark cropped hairstyle.

"That’s why empowering the next generation of kids is something I’m passionate about. It’s great to work with Barbie to share my story now," the Olympic athlete said.

"My hope is that everything I do helps more people realise they can do anything they put their mind to."