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Mattel Debuts, and Quickly Sells Out Of, Maya Angelou Barbie Doll

Photo via Barbie/Instagram

Barbie lovers and Maya Angelou-devotees rejoice! Mattel recently debuted a truly iconic new collector’s doll: a Barbie® Inspiring Women™ Maya Angelou Doll.

The doll comes dressed in a colorful floral dress with matching headwrap. It also comes with a miniature version of the Angelou’s classic and highly lauded memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”.

According to Mattel, the doll is part of the company’s efforts towards greater diversity and inclusion in their products–a commitment that they made in 2020 at the height of the Black Live’s Matter movement.

“Our efforts include a commitment to spotlight more Black role models who are female,” they wrote in a recent press release. “And now, we are introducing a doll that honors Dr. Maya Angelou, author and activist who used her voice and unique writing style to connect with people and inspire generations.”

According to Mattel, they plan on making 50% of their “Barbie Role Models” to be “Black, Indigenous and women of color.”

Maya Angelou’s son, Gary Johnson, said that he was “delighted” at the decision to craft a Barbie in his late mother’s likeness.

“My mother, Dr. Maya Angelou, was a pioneer and an activist with an invincible spirit for justice,” he said in a statement. “Through her words and actions, she developed a unique ability to create deep connections with people around the world. She used to say, ‘I write from the Black perspective, but I aim for the human heart.'”

This isn’t the first inspiring woman that Mattel has crafted into a collector’s doll.

You may remember, in 2018, the company created a very popular (and very controversial) Frida Kahlo doll. They’ve also created dolls honoring Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale, and Sally Ride, among others.

Mattel explained what inspired them to create a Dr. Maya Angelou doll, as well as their myriad of other “Role Model Dolls”, saying “it’s important that all girls not only see themselves reflected in product and content, but to also see role models who’ve come before them.”

According to Mattel, their Inspiring Women™ series “pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time; courageous women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.”

Based on the sales of the Maya Angelou doll, Mattel truly appears to be onto something.

According to their website, the Maya Angelou doll was so popular that it quickly sold out. In fact, there are a few disgruntled would-be-customers who are none too happy that they missed the opportunity to buy a mini Maya.

“It’s ridiculous that a doll released just a week ago is not available on your site but can be found in great supply in eBay for 3 times the price!” wrote one angry customer.

Well…you can’t win ’em all.

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American Girl Is Re-Releasing Josefina Montoya and Their Other Historical Dolls For Their 35th Anniversary

Culture

American Girl Is Re-Releasing Josefina Montoya and Their Other Historical Dolls For Their 35th Anniversary

Courtesy American Girl

If you’re a ’90s girl, chances are you begged your parents for an American Girl doll at some point (especially Josefina!). After all, American Girl dolls were the epitome of sophistication–trendy, cute, and above all, expensive. Well, if you’re nostalgic for the American Girls dolls of yore, you’re in luck.

On Tuesday, American Girl announced that they’re bringing the six original historical dolls out of retirement for the company’s 35th anniversary.

If you need a refresher on the six original dolls were Kirsten, Samantha, Molly, Felicity, Addy, and, of course, Josefina. American Girl created these characters to educate their young audience on little-known American history in an accessible way.

Josefina Montoya was the sole Latina doll out of the entire historical doll collection.

American Girl described her character as a “Hispanic girl whose heart and hopes are as big as the New Mexico sky.” Like every other doll, her character was also featured in a series of books that described the early days of the American Southwest (1824-1826, to be exact).

The book series’ author, Valerie Tripp, also did extensive research on 19th century life in Santa Fe de Nuevo México. Tripp visited la Hacienda de los Martínez in Taos and interviewed elderly New Mexican women who grew up in rural New Mexico.

American Girl went to great pains to ensure that Josefina Montoya’s features, accessories, and accompanying stories were historically accurate.

Per American Girl, Josefina was “developed with the guidance of an advisory board made up of historians, educators, curators, and other professionals deeply knowledgeable about the history and cultures of the American Southwest.”

The doll company also claims that the advisory board decided “what Josefina’s features, skin tone, and hair would look like.”

The 35th Anniversary edition of Josefina Montoya looks like it might give the original version a run for its money.

The 35th edition Josefina doll will include a bevy of accessories. She’ll come with a rebozo, a “white camisa with short puffed sleeves edged with lace” and a faux jola coin in an envelope.

Based on the Twitter reaction, ’90s babies can’t wait to get their hands on these dolls again. Many Latinas loved the Josefina doll. Josefina was the first time many had ever owned or played with a doll that was made specifically in their image.

But this time, we won’t have to rely on our parents to shell out their hard-earned cash for them.

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Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Entertainment

Fans Think This Photo Of Barbie Is Proof She’s An Out And Proud Lesbian

Mattel/ Instagram

The fact that the early days of Barbie were not quite so inclusive to all of us comes as no surprise. The blonde, impossibly figured doll with a penchant for similar-looking friends is a far cry away from the Barbie of today who has friends of all shapes, races, sizes, sexual identities, and abilities. Even better, today’s Barbie crew includes dolls who give queer children a broader playgound for their imagination.

Recently, Barbie has added a new addition to her friend group whose bringing more power to her LGTBQ fans.

Social media has dubbed the LGBTQ positive Aimee Song doll Barbie‘s girlfriend.

Twitter’s latest excitement is about a theory that Barbie and Aimee Song are dating. Photos of Mattel’s doll Aimee Song doll show her wearing a “Love Wins” T-shirt that supports LGBTQ+ rights. The Mattel doll was inspired by fashion blogger Aimee Song and recently caught renewed attention in a viral post shared to Twitter.

The “Love Wins” photos are only now going viral but were actually released in November 2017.

The photos of Barbie and the Aimee doll were shared to Twitter last Monday by user @kissevermore and now has Twitter debating whether the two are dating.

The pictures of Barbie and Aimee show the two dolls eating avocado toast. petting a dog, and smiling at each other. The images have fans questioning when Barbie came out and how she managed to nail a hot girlfriend before they did.

Even REAL Aimee Song weighed in on the images to confirm the relationship.

“I am the girlfriend,” she tweeted with a photo of herself and the Aimee Song doll. 

While Mattel has yet to officially identify Barbie as a lesbian, the original Instagram posts related to the Love Wins Barbies are proof that she is at least an ally.

Confirmed or not, true or not, one of the best parts of Barbie is that she is meant to be whoever her fans want her to be.

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