Just five days after the Maya Angelou Mattel Barbie doll launched in the US and it’s already sold out, showing the popularity of the brand’s ‘Inspiring Women’ series.
Mattel, which owns the Barbie brand, has committed to launching more Black, indigenous and women of colour dolls to make up 50% of their dolls worldwide. The Maya Angelou doll joined previous releases which featured the like of Rosa Parks as part of their homage to global role models.
The Maya Angelou inspired doll, which caresses the civil activist’s award-winning autobiography “I know why Caged Birds Sing,” is sculpted to her likeness and is dressed in a floral headwrap and dress with gold bangles and earrings.
“… sculpted to her likeness and is dressed in a floral headwrap and dress with gold bangles and earrings.”
The Angelou doll was launched by Barbie to honour Angelou’s history of activism, work and achievements. Angelou, who died in 2014, earned the presidential medal of honour from President Barack Obama.
Angelou was the first African American in history to read poetry at a presidential inauguration. She read “On the Pulse of the Morning” at former President Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration and went on to win the 1993 Grammy Award for “Best Spoken Word.”
The Guardian reported that Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson hoped that the doll: “Would inspire a new generation of teachers, writers and activists.”
Alongside the Maya Angelou Barbie doll, Barbie also launched a Rosa Parks Barbie doll, an influential civil rights activist most famous for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Both dolls were launched in the US, but we look forward to having some British role models celebrated in the same vein and the whole collection made available in the UK.
While you might not be able to get your hands on the Maya Angelou Barbie doll yet, you can still purchase Barbie’s newest diverse collection in the UK.
Mattel has followed through on its commitment to diversity by offering a new range of dolls with different skin shades, eye colours, hairstyles and clothing. The new collection includes a Black barbie with an Afro and vitiligo, a skin condition that affects the pigmentation in skin, a bald and fabulous doll and another with unicorn tresses.