• Misty Copeland and her Barbie. (Mattel)Source: Mattel
To inspire girls to be anything they want to be
Sarah Norton

SBS Life
3 May 2016 - 1:37 PM  UPDATED 3 May 2016 - 1:37 PM

The Mattel toy company has just released a Misty Copeland Barbie. Copeland is the first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and has become part of Barbie’s most recent campaign encouraging girls to believe they can be anything they want to be.

The launch of Copeland’s Barbie also continues the brand’s legacy of honouring female heroes. The principal ballet dancer has a huge online presence and is an inspiring role model to girls and women worldwide.

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

The doll is part of Barbie’s Sheroes program, which honours female heroes who have broken boundaries and proved that there are possibilities for women everywhere.

Copeland has been breaking barriers in her dancing and other community commitments. She first started dancing on a Boys and Girls Club basketball court and still has a huge involvement with local clubs today. Boys and Girls Clubs are an American organisation that promotes and enhances the development of young people, especially those in need.

"Misty Copeland is at the center [sic] of a cultural conversation around how women continue to break boundaries," Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Barbie said in a statement.

"As a brand, we want to honor [sic] women, like Misty, who are inspiring the next generation of girls to live out their dreams,” she says.

Barbie continues to expand its diversity, through creating role models with different skin tones, different body types and different clothing attire.

Copeland’s Barbie is dressed in a fire red bodysuit with tulle and pointe shoes. She also wears an orange and red tulle headpiece. The Barbie Collection site says that, “the doll features a brand-new ballerina body, with a face sculpted to Misty’s likeness.”

More Barbie diversity
Barbie’s most diverse incarnations through the years
Remember Feral Cheryl?