Hernandez gets ‘Shero’ Barbie

We’re doing backflips for Mattel’s latest ‘Shero’ doll.

According to HuffPost, Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez now has a Barbie in her likeness created especially for Mattel’s “Shero” line, which already includes dolls modeled after “director Ava DuVernay, dancer Misty Copeland and fellow Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.”

Fully posable, HuffPost says the doll also comes with two leotards and a gym bag, making the doll a perfect mini-me of the gymnast. As for Hernandez, having the doll made in her image was nothing short of a golden moment.

“I was so excited to know that I would have a Barbie that looks like me,” she told HuffPost. “It’s such an honor knowing that I’m a Barbie Shero along with many other incredible women like Misty Copeland and Ashley Graham. I am so excited that kids are going to be able to grow up with people that I looked up to as well, and hopefully they can see me as an inspiration too.”

We’re excited that kids can look up to someone like Hernandez, too.

Barbie unveils new dolls in ‘Inspiring Women’ line

Kids everywhere are about to get some new — and some time-honored — heroes to play make-believe with and look up to.

According to HuffPost, Mattel is adding a host of dolls to their new “Inspiring Women” Barbie collection, which honors women who have made history in their respective fields and industries. This new line includes the likes of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the first female aviator to journey across the Atlantic Ocean Amelia Earhart and boundary-breaker in science and math for NASA Katherine Johnson.

While this line of dolls does not have an anticipated release date, HuffPost says the company is also adding 14 new dolls to their existing “Shero” line, this time honoring modern women who are making a name for themselves in the United States and around the world.

Glamour reports these new inductees include: Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins; U.S. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim; Australian conservationist Bindi Irwin; British boxing champion Nicola Adams; Turkish windsurger Çağla Kubat; French chef Hélène Darroze; Chinese volleyball champion Hui Ruoqi; German designer and entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh; Mexican pro-golfer Lorena Ochoa; Polish journalist Martyna Wojciechowska; Italian soccer player Sara Gama; Chinese actor and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan; Chinese prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan; and Spanish entrepreneur and fashion designer Vicky Martin Berrocal.

Senior Vice president and General Manager of Barbie Lisa McKnight said in a release that the dolls aim to teach girls — and all children — to reach for the stars and dream beyond what they see is presently possible, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.

“As a brand that inspires the limitless potential in girls, Barbie will be honoring its largest line up of role models timed to International Women’s Day, because we know that you can’t be what you can’t see,” she said, according to HuffPost. “Girls have always been able to play out different roles and careers with Barbie and we are thrilled to shine a light on real life role models to remind them that they can be anything.”

Shop Barbie’s “Inspiring Women” collection here.

Douglas becomes a ‘shero’

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.



Graham gets her own Barbie

Following the likes of film director Ava DuVernay and ballerina Misty Copeland, model Ashley Graham was recently received an honor only a select few women have received thus far.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a brand-new Barbie is being made in the model’s likeness, furthering Mattel’s latest mission to promote diversity and inclusivity in their dolls. Saying that the doll is “all about advocating for women of all sizes to be represented in the industry,” THR says Graham worked with Graham to create a doll that accurately depicted her likeness — and even included some of her own preferences.

Not only did Graham get to choose what her doll would wear, which THR says is a miniature version of an outfit she’d previously worn — “a sparkly Opening Ceremony bodycon dress, a Sonia Rykiel cropped jean jacket decorated in patches and spiky Pierre Hardy boots” — she also told the designers at Mattel that she wanted her doll to have one very specific feature.

“She had to have her thighs touch,” Graham said, according to THR. Wanting the doll to reflect her as much as possible, Graham also shared that she asked for cellulite to be included on the doll, but “obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand.”

But for her, having the doll lack a thigh gap wasn’t just about being true to her own body; it was also about the message it would send to young girls.

“The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful,” Graham told THR.

Hopeful that the doll will help girls accept their bodies as they are, THR says Graham wants her doll to be a source of inspiration for girls everywhere, because “now every girl does look like Barbie. It’s not an unattainable thing.”

To see Graham’s new mini-me, click here.


It’s ‘game on’ for new Barbie

Mattel seems to be on a mission to show that girls can grow up to be whatever they want to be with their most recent Barbies, and such is the case with their latest release.

According to the Huffington PostMattel has created a new Barbie whose career is that of a game developer. The newest addition to Mattel’s more ‘feminist’ collection dolls is dressed in light-wash jeans, a T-shirt and an olive-green utility jacket; she also deviates from the traditional blonde and brunette Barbies, with red-highlighted hair, says the Huffington Post.

But perhaps her most important accessory is her computer, which features real code on the screen. Molly Proffitt, CEO of Ker-Chunk Games, LLC., worked on the new Barbie with Mattel to make sure that the doll was true to the game developer career — a project that, according to the Huffington Post, was personally important to her. 

“The computer has [Javascript] on it and you can see various instances of game engines on her laptop … I really know that girls need an icon that shows that they can be a part of the [tech] space and Barbie does that. She has power to tell girls they can be makers and builders.”

Game developer Barbie has already been met with much praise, with the Huffington Post reporting that game developer (and feminist) Brianna Wu expressed her excitement over Mattel’s latest addition to the publication this way:

“I just ordered one! … My favorite part of this Barbie is how much she reflects the style of women game developers. Neon hair is a legit fashion trend in the game industry.”

Perhaps Wu said it best when she offered that the new Barbie reflects a shift in career goals among young girls.

“Today, I see a lot of girls that want to grow up to be engineers, not fashionistas. It’s good to see Mattel reflecting that.”

A New ‘Barbie’ Takes Shape

Mattel’s Barbie dolls are taking a different shape these days.

The company famous for their iconic dolls announced on Jan. 28 three new shapes — petite, tall and curvy — as well as seven different skin tones, changing the 57-year-old look of the dolls, according to The New York Daily News.

These changes come in an attempt to provide Barbie customers with a more realistic body aesthetic that starkly contrasts the supermodel-like forms of Barbies past.

The Daily News says that the dolls were crafted in a top-secret mission named “Project Dawn,” in which designers worked on Barbie’s new image for two consecutive years. The new dolls feature a more voluptuous derrière, along with a fuller stomach, arms and legs. The dolls, part of the 2016 Fashionistas line, also includes 22 eye colors and 24 hair colors.

Head of the Barbie brand Evelyn Mazzocco spoke to Time, where news of the launch first broke, on how long it took to change Barbie’s shape. “Yes, some people will say we are late to the game. But changes at a huge corporation take time,” she said according to The Huffington Post.

While The Daily News says that the changes received positive responses from the likes of size-14 model Lizzie Miller, who thought the revisions were long overdue, CNN found that not all people welcomed the changes — especially Alexandra Petri of the The Washington Post.

Petri wrote, “The trouble with Barbie is that if you start taking away her unrealistic elements, she disappears altogether … Barbie is either the iconic, unattainable figure, blonde and waiflike, with huge eyes, or she is — what, exactly? Make her real, and she ceases to exist. She becomes a brand, a category heading, like American Girl, Monster High, Bratz.”

Although the changes were met with mixed reviews, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson said their mission is to empower females. “Our brand represents female empowerment,” he told Time. “It’s about choices. Barbie had careers at a time when women were restricted to being just housewives. Ironically, our critics are the very people who should embrace us.”