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Mattel Just Made A Barbie Shero In Honor Of Laurie Hernandez’s Accomplishments And I Love What This Means For Little Latinas

For the past three years, the big box brand behind Barbie, Mattel, has worked hard to honor women who shatter glass ceilings, display their power and go for the gold through their “Shero” doll collection. In the past, Latinas that have been honored with a Barbie Shero-staus have included Lorena Ochoa and Frida Kahlo.

This month American artistic gymnast and Olympic gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez has received the honor as well.

The U.S. Olympian is being honored with a special Barbie doll of her own.

In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Hernandez shared that as a child she often broke her Barbie dolls while attempting to make them do gymnastics just like she did. To ensure young girls like her have the ability to play with their dolls and see themselves in them, Hernandez and Mattel worked together to give her doll’s limbs full range of motion as well as Hernandez’s likeness.

“Now girls are gonna be able to go find my doll and look at her and realize she has curls like them too, and if they want to try gymnastics, they can,” Hernandez said of the doll. “So I think that Barbie’s doing something incredible here.”

The new doll recognizes Hernandez’s official status as a “Shero.”

Having been considered a pillar of strength and force to be reckoned with since making her Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Hernandez has used her platform to inspire young girls and women to embrace themselves for who they are and catapult themselves towards their dreams. Curves, muscles, strength and all. Her doll will, undoubtedly, prove to be a massive influence on the young Latina girls of newer generations.

The new doll comes with two leotards that come from Hernadez’s GK gymnastics line, sweatpants, a duffle bag and gym shoes. She also has Hernandez’s eyes and beloved curls.

“She has my curls! She has my eyes! She has my nose!” Hernandez told People.com in an interview. “It’s incredible to look at because when I was a little girl, I would play with Barbie dolls that had my hair color and my eye color. But this one really does look like me and I think it’s gonna resemble a lot of little girls out there.”

Hernandez’s new doll will soon be available at Walmart for $29.88


Read: Olympic Athlete Laurie Hernandez Just Launched a New Size Inclusive Line To Help Young Girls Realize Body Ideals Are Bogus

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Barbie Unveils New Dolls That Use Wheelchairs And Prosthetic Limbs

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Barbie Unveils New Dolls That Use Wheelchairs And Prosthetic Limbs

Since Barbie originally hit shelves back on March 9, 1959, the doll everyone has come to love has evolved and changed with the times. From the zebra striped swimsuit wearing doll to a chef, a doctor, an Olympian. Soon enough fans of the brand were able to access Barbies of different races and body types after a public push for diversity and criticism that the “perfect” doll promoted an unrealistic body type for girls. After the groundbreaking launch to further diversify the brand behind the doll, Mattel, has collaborated with a thirteen-year-old disabled activist Jordan Reeves. The teen was born without a forearm and has worked with Mattel to introduce dolls that are disabled.

For the first time, young disabled children will get to play with Barbie dolls who have realistic wheelchairs similar to theirs and have accurate prosthetic limbs as well.

Credit: Instagram/ @barbie

The overall response from the disabled community has been praising Mattel for creating an accurate representation for their Barbie brand. That is not only important for the world to see, especially when so many other companies have failed to show disabled people correctly because of their unwillingness to work with disabled people in production. Mattel has listened to disabled people begging for dolls that look like them and made the effort to work with disabled people to create the most authentic disabled doll as possible. These new disabled dolls have made many adults in the disabled community reminisce of their childhood when they dreamed of seeing a doll like them using mobility aids or missing limbs. And are excited to purchase the disabled Barbie doll to fulfill their childhood dreams. And speaking of dreams, along with the Barbie doll having an accurate wheelchair, Mattel is also including a Barbie DreamHouse-compatible ramp!

Guess the Barbie world knows the importance of being accessible and ADA compliant.

While most are celebrating, the disabled community had some well deserved constructive criticism of the new dolls.

One of the biggest constructive criticisms is the lack of diverse bodies, races, and ethnicities for the disabled Barbie dolls. It’s been widely known (thanks to the hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite) that when disability representation is given, it’s usually only shown as a white, slim disabled person, which is only a small fraction of what disabled people look like. Many people of color who are disabled and disabled allies have praised Mattel for the dolls but hopes more disabled dolls will be released who are multiple sizes, multiple races, and multiple ethnicities. Along with expanding the range of disability with Barbie dolls who use canes, walkers or wear braces on their ankles.

As for myself, I’m excited that these disabled dolls, though long overdue, are finally going to exist.

Courtesy of Andrea Lausell

I couldn’t help but reminisce as others have done, about my childhood with Barbie. As far back as I can remember, my ride or die when I was a little girl were Barbie dolls. Almost the way Angelica’s relationship towards her Cynthia doll was in Rugrats. The Teresa Barbie doll was my “Cynthia” and meant the world to me because for the first time, I was playing with a doll that looked like my family, Latinx. Teresa (oddly enough my sister has the same name) looked like my sister and therefore she felt like family. I even pretend she was bilingual like myself, went on many adventures with her, and confided in her through difficult times I would have. She was my best friend but as a child, I felt only half of a connection with her. Teresa wasn’t disabled, she didn’t use an aid or had multiple scars like me. And never in my life did I think there would be any doll, let alone a Barbie doll who would match my disabled body.

My hope along with the hope many of those in the disabled community have is that Mattel’s wheelchair and prosthetic using disabled Barbie dolls are the start of a revolution for children’s toys. Toys, especially dolls have been where kids learn about friendships, relationships and how to get along with those who are different from them. They learn to use their imagination and build compassion for others. By having accurate disabled dolls, it’s not only showing kids in general that there’s nothing wrong with disability, but it is also showing disabled kids that they’re normal and beautiful like their abled peers and their abled dolls. These disabled Barbie dolls are great companions for any disabled child and would be greater if they start making diverse disabled Barbie dolls with many types of disabilities, mobility aids and even adding scars to the dolls. Hopefully, this will make other toy companies begin to have disability in mind when creating new toys. Mattel’s new disabled Barbie dolls will be life-changing for so many disabled kids who want to have a companion who knows what they’re going through and get them through anything life throws at them the way my Teresa Barbie was for me.


Read: In New York, Queer Latina Tiffany Cabán Wants To Bring ‘Genuine Justice’ To The Queens District Attorney’s Office

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Laurie Hernandez Has A New Children’s Book And Her Eyes Set On 2020 Olympic Gold

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Laurie Hernandez Has A New Children’s Book And Her Eyes Set On 2020 Olympic Gold

Two-time Olympic medalist Laurie Hernandez knows a good deal about resilience and strength. Besides being a U.S. champion, the 18-year-old Puerto Rican gymnast has created her own fashion line, partnered with beloved brand Mattel to make her own Barbie, and won a season of “Dancing With The Stars.” Her latest career move involves her writing and publishing her second book.

The gold and silver medalist recently debuted her new children’s book called “She’s Got This.”

It’s not the first book, Hernandez has written. In 2016, the athlete published “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” which quickly became a New York Times Best Seller. The debut autobiography chronicled Hernadez journey to discovering her passion for gymnastics and, soon after, what it would take for her to become an Olympian. In her latest book, fans of Hernandez can expect an alternative look into her early days. With a title inspired by Hernadez ritual recital of the phrase “I got this” to herself before the events, she participated in at the 2016 Summer Olympics, “She’s Got This” tells a variant of her story through the eyes of a young girl named Zoe who after seeing a gymnast on TV realizes that gymnastics is a lot like flying.

The book, written for children ages preschool to three years old, is meant to teach young readers that the path to pursuing one’s goals and dreams will never come easy. Really, the book is a lesson in learning that no matter what field you chase after “you always have to get back up and try again, and you always have to believe in yourself.”

In an interview with Good Morning America, Hernandez explained that despite her champion status she finds herself “pretty much terrified,” for every competition she takes part in. “It’s making sure that I can calm myself down before I hop onto the equipment. For me, that’s a lot of self-talk and self-preparation, and it’s being my own hype-man. So when I was out there competing, I said, ‘I got this.’ And the camera really got a close-up of it,” She went onto explain. “It captured this moment that I thought was really important.”

During the interview, Hernandez also announced that she’s got her eyes set on Olympic gold once again.

Hernandez did more than promote her book on GMA. She also announced that after taking some time away from gymnastics to graduate high school, that she is “currently training” for the Olympics in 2020 which will be held in Tokyo. “I am coming back into the gymnastics world,” She exclaimed excitedly during the interview. “Cross your fingers for 2020.”

“She’s Got This” is available online and bookstores now. 


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