The legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou will continue to inspire new generations with some assistance from Barbie. As a part of the Barbie brand’s Inspiring Women series, toy-maker Mattel has released a Barbie doll inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou. Modeled after a young Angelou, the Barbie Inspiring Women Series Maya Angelou Doll dons a head wrap, a print dress and gold accessories, and is accompanied by her critically acclaimed autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
“Children’s early childhood experiences shape what they imagine to be possible, so 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,” said Mattel via a statement. Introduced in 2018, the Inspiring Women doll series “pays tribute to incredible women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.” So far the collection of special edition dolls crafted in the honor of trailblazing women has paid homage to risk takers throughout history such as Jazz queen Ella Fitzgerald, tennis great Billie Jean King, women’s rights activist Susan B. Anthony and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.
Prior to being immortalized as a Barbie doll and before her death in 2014, Dr. Angelou was a renowned author, activist, actress, professor and calypso singer, among other things. A force to be revoked with, her lengthy list of lifetime achievements has also included being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, being both the first African-American and female poet to speak during a Presidential inauguration, penning several best-selling books and empowering others such as Amanda Gorman. The 22-year-old National Youth Poet Laureate whose “The Hill We Climb” poem was a highlight during Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, recently spoke on walking in the shoes of the American icon.
Priced at $29.99, the Barbie Inspiring Women Series Maya Angelou Doll can be purchased via Barbie’s online store.
Photos via Mattel