“As a huge Selena fan and Barbie collector, we want Mattel to create an official Selena doll in her likeness. There has yet to be any curvy Hispanic barbie dolls in any Barbie line and we think Selena is a perfect candidate for that kind of representation,” says Remy. I mean, yes!
“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.
Recently, it was announced that this year’s Grammy Awards were postponed until March thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. The news disappointed many Selena fans who were excited to see her posthumously awarded a lifetime achievement award.
However, her family has reiterated their intent to collect the award on Selena’s behalf, with her brother telling TMZ that they plan to make a family affair out of it.
Selena’s brother A.B. says the family is ready to accept her posthumous Grammy.
Selena’s older broth, A.B. Quintanilla recently spoke to TMZ about the family accepting Selena’s latest Grammy on her behalf. He said with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Selena’s parents will most likely stay home and that he and his sister Suzette Quintanilla will be in attendance if there’s an in-person ceremony.
“Coming on the end of [the pandemic], I would say that it’s not safe for my mother and father,” A.B. said. “They probably would be staying in.”
The Academy recently announced that the award show would be a smaller, virtual event taking place in March. But that’s no issue according to A.B. He said that he’s got grand plans to turn his sister’s award into a family affair and that they’ve got their popcorn ready.
He also says it feels like Selena’s still here whenever she wins an award or sets new records, even though it’s been a quarter-century since she was murdered.
“It’s kind of bittersweet because she’s breaking these records and she’s doing wonderful things but unfortunately she’s not here,” he admits. “It’s strange how people in their mindset, and even with me sometimes, it feels like she is here…I’m just happy to have been a part of it and that people are still enjoying the beautiful art that made because those pieces that Selena made, in the music world, those are van Gogh’s.”
A.B. also spoke about Netflix’s Selena: The Series, which debuted last month.
He said the series sheds more light on how their family played a part in Selena’s success. A.B. was Selena’s primary producer and songwriter and Suzette was the drummer in her band.
It would be great to see the whole family [accept Selena’s award],” A.B. said. “As people are seeing in the series, this was a family effort. A lot of people are in shock going, ‘Whoa A.B.! We didn’t know you were the guy that wrote the hits and you wrote the music and you had so much pressure on you.’ I’m very grateful for the series and for people learning from the series.”
The Grammy will not be Selena’s first.
In 1994, she became the first female Tejano singer to win in the Best Mexican-American Album category. During her award acceptance speech, Selena thanked her family. Her brother and sister helped to write, produce, and also played instruments on the album. Selena’s father Abraham worked as her manager.
Selena was nominated after her first Grammy win in 1995 for her fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido. Though she did not win the award, was thankful to be thought of in such high regard. She told a reporter at the time, “Just to be around these artists who are considered to be heavyweights is an honor.”