Gabby Douglas has made two Olympic appearances, won several gold medals and sits atop the world of gymnastics as one of the most celebrated athletes to come out of the sport. But of all of these accomplishments comes one that is all about inspiring young children to follow in her footsteps.
According to HuffPost, Douglas has officially joined Barbie’s “Shero” line with a doll of her own. The line, which “features other badass women like director Ava DuVernay, actress Emmy Rossum and ballerina Misty Copeland,” aims to depict different kinds of female heroes, says HuffPost.
Accompanying her doll is a description of why Douglas was chosen for the line, citing her “confidence, work ethic and belief in herself” as reasons why she is “an extraordinary role model to girls.”
“The Gabby Douglas Barbie® doll celebrates the extraordinary accomplishments of this inspiring athlete and earns her role as a Barbie® ‘Shero’ honoree, a female hero inspiring girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere.”
For Douglas, the doll is not only inspiring young boys and girls to pursue their dreams, it’s also about quashing limitations placed on us by society based on how we look.
“It’s so important in the African American community to have that doll that looks like you,” she told HuffPost. “For me that’s really big because it sends a positive message saying, you know what you can go out there and achieve your goals no matter what your hair looks like, no matter what color your skin is.”
The doll, which is currently on sale, retails for $24.95.
The recent Rio Olympic games showcased the athletic prowess of female athletes around the world, with many from the United States rising to the top. But their dominance doesn’t stop there.
According to ELLE, some of the best female athletes around star in a new ad for Nike called “Unlimited Pursuit,” part of their “Unlimited” campaign “celebrating power, beauty, and pursuit of athletic perfection.”
The video features Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas of this year’s “Final Five” gymnastics team, as well as Serena Williams, Scout Bassett, Elena Delle Donne and Allyson Felix, reports ELLE.
Nike spoke of the athletes in the ad, says ELLE, explaining their paramount significance this way:
“Recovering from setbacks, losses and injury, rising from obscurity and destroying obstacles to claim victory, they command the spotlight and inspire Nike to innovate to match their strength and their dreams.”
To watch the inspirational ad, click here.
A trip to Rio and being dubbed a ‘shero’ all in a matter of days — such is the life of gymnast Gabby Douglas.
According to ESPNW, the reigning all-around champion not only secured a place on the U.S. Olympic team on Sunday, July 10, she also announced her new Barbie doll the following day. The Huffington Post says Douglas took to Twitter on Monday morning to announce the news this way: “Excited to debut my @Barbie Shero doll! Let’s continue to break barriers & dream big, girls!”
The doll is part of Barbie’s recently unveiled ‘Shero’ line, which includes other inspirational women like Ava DuVernay, Misty Copeland and Emmy Rossum, says the Huffington Post.
To say that Douglas is excited to be included in the company’s ‘shero’ doll line is an understatement — in fact, the Huffington Post says Douglas told Mattel that the whole thing leaves her “speechless.”
“I never would’ve thought in a million years that I would be in this spot,” she said in a video promoting the doll on Barbie’s Twitter. “Everyone sees me as a role model and it’s just fantastic.”
Douglas also offered some advice on learning to love yourself in the video, says the Huffington Post.
“Just be you and love yourself and embrace yourself and just really go after what you want,” she said.
Spoken like a true shero. To see pictures of Douglas and her new shero doll, click here.
It’s hard to reflect on the career of Serena Williams and not be inspired. Sports Illustrated reports that not only has she been ranked No. 1 in the world for the past four years, she also has six Wimbledon singles titles (just to name a few of her many accolades) — and she’s a fierce advocate for women, often speaking on body positivity and women’s rights. So seeing Williams as a role model of strength, perseverance and skill both on and off the court is quite an easy task — just ask Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas.
According to TIME’s Motto, the 20-year-old gold medalist told Teen Vogue about her journey to the get the gold for their August issue, explaining that believing in herself didn’t always come easily. “It took a long time for me to see my own potential — a long time,” Douglas told Teen Vogue, according to Motto.
Even after her gold-medal wins in the individual all-around and team competitions — which, Motto says, made her the first American gymnast to achieve such a feat — Douglas was still not the confident competitor and woman we see today. Teen Vogue reports that she was persistently bullied over her appearance, something that will eat at anyone’s self-esteem.
“Sometimes I would be in the bathroom, bawling my eyes out, wanting to quit,” Douglas told Teen Vogue, according to Motto. “I felt like I was all alone. But when I came through it, I felt as if I could overcome anything.”
Cue Williams, who became Douglas’ source of inspiration. Motto says Douglas’ mother, Natalie Hawkins, explained to Teen Vogue how her daughter came to draw strength from the legendary tennis player.
“I remember when everyone was talking about her arms, and she became very self-conscious about how muscular they were,” Hawkins told Teen Vogue. “Then Gabrielle saw the elegance with which Serena Williams handled all the negative criticism of her own body. It was liberating for my daughter to see that. She said, ‘I don’t have to apologize to anyone about my body. My body is beautiful.'”