Barbie releases new doll to honour Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou now has her very own Barbie. Toy manufacturer Mattel announced that the late legendary poet’s Barbie doll will be “sculpted to Dr Angelou’s likeness”. The doll is wearing a head-wrap, jewellery, and floral print dress on its “curvy body”. It will join Rosa Parks and Florence Nightingale in the “Inspiring Women” series of Barbie dolls.

Mattel described Angelou as a “fitting addition” to the line, which it said is intended to celebrate “women who took risks, changed rules and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before”.

The Angelou doll will be sold for US $29.99, with a limit of two dolls per person.

Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson, told Today he was happy that his mom was chosen to become a Barbie. And that he hopes it would inspire a new generation of activists.

“My mother was a pioneer and an activist with an invincible spirit for justice,” he said. “Through her words and actions, she developed a unique ability to create deep connections with people around the world. She used to say, ‘I write from the black perspective, but I aim for the human heart.’”

Mattel said that it was committing to featuring black, indigenous and other women of colour as more than 50% of its dolls, based on global role models.