In the 90s, Barbie released an assortment of WNBA dolls representing the league’s 30 teams. Young girls who enjoy basketball were able to show the love of the game through these dolls. Now, Barbie has recently released a doll in honor of professional tennis player Naomi Osaka.
The doll features Osaka’s beautiful voluminous curls and signature Nike sports cap as well as her iconic colorful Nike bodysuit and white skirt in which she wore during the 2020 Australian Open. The doll also sports a pair of light blue Nike sneakers and a miniature replica of the Osaka Yonex Ezone 98 tennis racket.
The athlete teamed up with Barbie in 2019 for the Role Model series to celebrate the brand’s 60th anniversary. The Role Model collection was created to highlight inspirational female figures who inspire the next generation of young girls. Dolls from the collection recognize women such as Yara Shahidi, Lira, and Adwoa Aboah to name a few.
In an Instagram post, Osaka announced the doll’s release and provided her followers with words of encouragement on achieving their dreams: “I really hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything. This is really seeing a dream of mine come to life, having your own Barbie and potentially seeing little kids playing with it.”
The Grand Slam champion is a great role model to women everywhere. As of the past year, she has spoken out about her mental health in addition to fighting for social justice in her community. Last week, Netflix announced an docuseries surrounding Osaka where she will open up about her family life as well as the struggles and accomplishments as a reigning tennis player.