Mattel gives nod to Misty Copeland with new Barbie

The company’s announcement is part of a campaign meant to highlight female role models who inspire girls to ‘live out their dreams.’


Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” campaign will honor Misty Copeland—the first African-American woman to be named a principal ballerina with the world-famous American Ballet Theater—with her own doll.

The doll will be available in stores, and is part of the brand’s Barbie “Sheroes” push, which features Barbie versions of female role models, including Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Kristin Chenoweth, Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya.

Mattel says that the “Sheroes” campaign follows its February announcement that new Barbies would feature several body types and skin tones:

This initiative furthers the Barbie “You Can Be Anything” campaign message echoing that when a girl plays with Barbie, she imagines anything she can become. Earlier this year, Barbie expanded their Fashionistas® line by introducing even more diversity with three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and countless on-trend fashions and accessories.

“I always dreamed of becoming an ABT ballerina and through Barbie I was able to play out those dreams early on,” Copeland said in Mattel’s press release. “It’s an honor to be able to inspire the next generation of kids with my very own Barbie doll.”

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Copeland went a step further in a lengthy interview with Mashable, saying, “It’s just so exciting for this generation of kids to be able to see a Barbie that has muscles and brown skin and a bust and thighs, and for her to be a ballerina.”

The doll is $29.95 and is available for purchase online.

Lisa McKnight, Barbie’s general manager and senior vice president, said Mattel wants to honor women who inspire “the next generation of girls to live out their dreams”:

Misty Copeland is at the center of a cultural conversation around how women continue to break boundaries. As a brand, we want to honor women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams. We know role play often leads to real “play” in life and we’re thrilled to celebrate Misty with her very own doll.

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