jessica tholmer
September 28, 2015 1:43 pm

I love Barbies. I do. I loved them as a kid and I love them now.

I grew up pretty poor but I always managed to have Barbies — partly because my cousin was generous enough to share with me, and partly because my mom always found a way to sneak us little gifts. That said, no matter how much I loved Barbies there were very few Barbie dolls that looked like me. In fact, there were very few Barbies who were anything other than blonde.

Well I can tell you little-girl me would have loved the new Zendaya Barbie. Heck, 20-something me loves the new Zendaya Barbie.

Designed by Carlyle Nuera, the Barbie is a perfect model of Zendaya, the incredible young actress who has used her burgeoning career to establish herself as a strong, beautiful, Black woman. After her Oscar locs were criticized by Giuliana Rancic on E!’s Fashion Police, Zendaya made waves standing up for her look and calling the show out on their “outrageously offensive” stereotype of Black women and their hair. Zendaya went on to say that her locs are a symbol of “strength and beauty” while dropping names of the many beautiful women who rock locs (and rock them well).

Zendaya’s Barbie was inspired by the aforementioned look in all it’s gorgeousness. Zendaya took to Instagram and Twitter this weekend to express her love and admiration for the Barbie.

I am super proud of Mattel for expanding their image of beauty and committing to represent women in all their beautiful forms. It is so important for little girls of all sizes, shapes, races, and hair styles to see themselves in the culture around them. We can’t even quantify how inspirational this doll will be for countless girls who may have never before had a doll who looks like them.

As a special side note, I loved seeing Nicki Minaj’s encouragement and celebration of Zendaya as well. Nicki took to Twitter and Instagram to shout out Zendaya and Mattel for creating the diverse Barbie. Mattel created a special edition Barbie after Minaj in 2011. Of course we love hers as well!

Though Zendaya’s Barbie is not currently available for fans to purchase, we are so, so happy it exists. AND, when it is available, you know we’ll be buying it.

Zendaya is getting her own Barbie. Sold.

What the Zendaya hair controversy says about casual racism

[Images via Instagram and Twitter]

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