Four-time Grand Slam singles champion, Naomi Osaka, has her own line of Barbie dolls.
The 23-year-old world No. 2 tennis player, who used her position to call attention to issues like police violence and racial inequality , has become part of Mattel Inc’s mission to make its iconic toy line more diverse with dolls based on different role models and professions.
Naomi Osaka grew up with Serena Williams as her idol and said in a statement that, “It’s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world. I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big”.
Mattel’s new work with Naomi Osaka is the latest showing of brands becoming more comfortable with taking a stand regarding social justice issues and banking on partnerships with female athletes to pull in new customers.
Mattel also has Barbie dolls based on US soccer player, Alex Morgan, and Olympic fencer, Ibtihaj Muhammed.
Mattel made a statement stating that, “Barbie is committed to celebrating real-life models… remarkable women who are breaking boundaries and inspiring the next generation.” They also announced that the Naomi Osaka doll will be sporting a Nike tennis outfit and a racket.
Osaka, who didn’t compete in the Wimbledon championships, will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics later this month.
Sources: MSN, Financial Post
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