Just over a month ago, Sarah Gilbert, the co-developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, was given a standing ovation by a crowd of thousands during the opening play of Wimbledon.
But this past praise now pales in comparison to the new honour bestowed on her today. Gilbert now shares an honour with Cher, Hepburn and Beyoncé: her very own Barbie doll.
The 59-year-old has been #BarbieBlessed by Mattel, the creators of the toy, and is now part of a set honouring “role models” during the coronavirus pandemic. Other figures include Kirby White, the surgical gown pioneer, as well as Chika Stacy Oriuw, the anti-racism healthcare worker, and Amy O’Sullivan who treated the first COVID-19 patient in New York.
She is not the only major public figure to have been immortalised into a mini-me this year. Back in June, Julie Bishop, the former deputy leader of Australia’s liberal party, scored her own Barbie doll for being “ahead of the feminist zeitgeist”.
Those who purchase Gilbert will be able to brush her Venetian-blonde hair and play with her signature black spectacles and a navy-blue suit. Funds made from the action figure will go towards the Women in Science & Engineering charity.
While she admits to finding the gesture from the manufacturer “strange”, Gilbert hopes the doll can “make it more normal for girls to think about careers in science”.
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With Britain out of lockdown thanks in no small part to the efficacy of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, life for Sarah in plastic really is fantastic.