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Newest Barbie Honors African American Ballerina Misty Copeland

By Gilda N. Squire (Gildasquire) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Gilda N. Squire (Gildasquire) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The newest edition to Mattel’s Barbie “Sheroes” program features African American ballerina Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first black female principal dancer.

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

In a video that was recently released about the new doll, Copeland says that she was a “very shy girl,” who played with Barbie dolls until she started taking ballet at 13 years old. She explains that Barbie gave her a way to dream because “Barbie can transform into anything.”

The “Sheroes” program celebrates outstanding women around the world who are breaking down barriers and acting as exceptions in their fields. Other “Sheroes” dolls include Taiwanese businesswoman Eva Chen, Selma director Ava DuVernay, and 6-year-old fashion designer Sydney “Mayhem” Keiser.

“As a brand, we want to honor women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams,” said General Manager and Senior Vice President of Barbie, Lisa McKnight.

It generally takes up to seven impressions before a consumer commits a brand to memory, but as a brand that is over half a century old, Barbie is widely recognized by girls across the globe. That is why Barbie executive Evelyn Mazzocco believes it is important for the brand to diversify.

“Society felt that a brand like Barbie needs to be more in touch with the times and needs to be a better reflection of the world that girls are living in today,” Mazzocco told NBC News.

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