Make Me A Doll: Black Women Who Should Have Their Own Barbie Dolls

December 15, 2015  |  
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If you scored your very own Ava DuVernay Barbie doll before it sold out, lucky you!  The doll’s success is a clear indication that representation matters for Black girls and women alike.  Here are some other heroes we think Mattel and other doll companies should consider, role models who epitomize the diverse array of Black womanhood in all its splendor and glory.  Who would you add to this list of women who should join Ava, as well as actress Zendaya Coleman whose Barbie made its debut in September, in having their own dolls?

Michelle Obama

From her Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity to her rap skills, there are so many reasons to love First Lady Michelle Obama.

Serena Williams

Fresh off the heels of being named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated, it’s safe to say that Serena Williams is on fire.  With 21 Grand Slam titles under her belt, she is clearly the greatest athlete of her time.

Debbie Allen

Actress, director, choreographer…is there anything Debbie Allen can’t do?  The mastermind behind some of our most beloved shows like A Different World has had a lasting impact both in front of and behind the camera.

Mae Jemison

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to travel into space aboard space shuttle Endeavor.  She is an advocate who encourages girls to pursue careers in science and promotes opportunities for women and people of color in general.

Lupita Nyong’o

The Academy Award-winning actress’ meteoric rise catapulted her onto the covers of countless magazines.  She has already become a fashion and beauty icon who, in sharing her personal story about overcoming her insecurities, has shown little girls everywhere how to love the skin they’re in.


Not enough goodness can be said about mega-influential Oprah Winfrey and her neverending quest to help people live their best lives.

Tyra Banks

Supermodel, entrepreneur and former talk show host Tyra Banks broke barriers when she became the first Black woman to appear on the covers of GQ and the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  A champion for diverse beauty, she encourages positive body image – something girls and women of all ages can afford to hear.

Janet Jackson

Talk about having staying power.  An icon who has influenced countless artists, Jackson’s musical career is more than four decades deep.  She has never shied away from proudly displaying her sexuality and never misses a beat.

Amandla Stenberg

At just 17 years old, the actress and advocate has addressed issues like cultural appropriation and has schooled folks via Instagram on the way Black women are often portrayed in media.  A voice of her generation who is wise beyond her years, Stenberg handles any situation that comes her way like the gracious professional she is.

Willow Smith

The 15-year-old recently pulled a Beyoncé by unexpectedly releasing her new album, Ardipithecus.  Never afraid to voice her opinion, Willow is artistic, unapologetic and fearless.

Shonda Rhimes

Showrunner and television pioneer Shonda Rhimes has powerful, dynamic women at the center of her hit shows, all of which have forever changed the landscape of television.

Mara Brock Akil

Girlfriends, The Game, Being Mary Jane.  With three hit television shows under her belt, numerous writing credits and surely more greatness to come, Mara Brock Akil uses her platform to create rich characters and address a multitude of issues through the lens of Black women.

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