Luciana Vega, the newest American Girl doll, looks to defy gender stereotypes with her ambition to join NASA and be the first person to land on Mars

American Girl, the popular doll brand owned by Mattel, is aiming to battle stereotypes with its first release of the year: Luciana Vega, an 11-year-old girl of Chilean descent who dreams of becoming the first person to land on Mars.

While the brand, which launched in 1986, has embraced inclusivity before with dolls of different races and cultural backgrounds, Luciana Vega comes at a time when the lack of diversity in STEM fields is being questioned.

“We're proud to introduce fans to American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality,” Katy Dickson, president of American Girl, said in a press release. “Luciana is a role model for today's girls—empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life—whatever the goal.”

Luciana comes with a a chapter book telling her story as well as space-inspired outfits and accessories. To ensure accuracy in developing her character, Mattel formed an advisory board with NASA scientists and astronaut Megan McArthur Behnken.

The new doll is now available online and at American Girl stores nationwide.

American Girl

American Girl, the popular doll brand owned by Mattel, is aiming to battle stereotypes with its first release of the year: Luciana Vega, an 11-year-old girl of Chilean descent who dreams of becoming the first person to land on Mars.

While the brand, which launched in 1986, has embraced inclusivity before with dolls of different races and cultural backgrounds, Luciana Vega comes at a time when the lack of diversity in STEM fields is being questioned.

“We're proud to introduce fans to American Girl's 2018 Girl of the Year, Luciana Vega—a champion of STEM and a natural-born leader who puts her whole heart into making her dreams a reality,” Katy Dickson, president of American Girl, said in a press release. “Luciana is a role model for today's girls—empowering them to defy stereotypes, and embrace risks that will teach them about failure and success as they chart their own course in life—whatever the goal.”