Maya Angelou passed away in 2014 after a life that left a mark on the hearts and minds of so many people. She was a civil rights activist and writer that collected dozens of awards as well as honorary degrees for what she accomplished in her lifetime. This inspirational living meant that many people took her death hard, and her memory still lives on for many people. So, it’s natural that plenty of companies, individuals, and groups wanted to memorialize her for others to remember this inspiring and strong woman. That’s where Mattel came in to put their version of capturing Maya’s memory to the public.
Mattel has a series of Barbie dolls known as the Inspiring Women series that is meant to show young girls and those that interact with Barbies the importance of these women’s work and efforts in various aspects of society over their lives. The company announced that a doll for Maya Angelou will be joining this lineup and explained their reasoning for this series as well as what the doll is planned to be like in some press releases for the public.
When speaking about the Inspiring Women series of Barbie dolls in their press release about it, Mattel spoke about the importance of representation for young children in their toys as well as how formative the younger years are in learning about the world. They thought that it’s important to give children the ability to see themselves in the world around them as well as see and learn about important role models that teach them about what’s worth fighting for or what others have fought for and accomplished in their lives to help others. Lots of approval came from this statement by parents and other individuals agreeing that role models are important and incorporating them into a common toy or activity is super helpful for younger kids’ learning.
Maya Angelou’s doll is said to come holding a miniature replica of Maya’s autobiography and wears a full-length floral dress as well as a head wrap. The doll is modeled after what Maya looked like in her life and also has been said to have accessories including a bracelet, watch, and earrings too.
Maya’s son, Guy Johnson, was extremely excited and joyful over this sweet tribute to his mother as well as the idea of educating the next generations about her hard work in life. He spoke up about her ability to connect with people of all backgrounds and inspire those all around the world in her work while quoting her. It’s clear that while Maya Angelou will be dearly missed, her work will still be able to carry on in the hearts of those that loved her as well as in future generations through education or actions like Mattel’s creation of a Barbie in her honor.
If you’re curious about the Inspiring Women series of Barbie dolls from Mattel, it first launched in 2018 and includes other dolls of female role models like Frida Kahlo, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Amelia Earhart, and more. These role models come from all different backgrounds and timelines in the world and the dolls are modeled in their likeness. It’s a perfect addition to Barbie’s lineup of dolls that can be both fun and educational for future generations.