In honor of Black History Month, Mattel released a powerful new line of Barbie dolls, meant to inspire girls of color to be and love themselves as they are. The dolls come in varying shades, shapes, heights, and hair textures, making the Barbie universe better represent the women of African descent in this world. The Barbie company collaborated with costume designer Shiona Turini, who is well known for her work on productions like HBO’s Insecure and Queen & Slim.
“I grew up obsessed with Barbie, and while she was one of my first fashion icons, I clearly remember searching shelves for a doll that looked like me and coming up empty handed. The first black Barbie was introduced in 1980 – in a sparkly red dress with an Afro pick in her hair… I hope other young children, and adult Barbie lovers, are as excited to see themselves reflected in these dolls as I am. Thank you @barbiestyle – for collaborating with me to create barbies with braids, finger waves and everything in between. Chicks by the layers, all different flavors. And even a curvy doll, in a crop top, with waist length twists. Baby Shiona is PROUD. Representation matters and I’m so grateful to be a part of this moment.– Shiona Turini
Barbie has been producing black dolls since the 1960s, but this is the largest collection they’ve ever released. I think they’re just magnificent!