Mattel Is Honoring Venus Williams With Her Own Barbie Doll

Last updated on Jun 17, 2024

Posted on Jun 17, 2024

In celebration of its 65th anniversary, Barbie is honoring nine trailblazing woman athletes with one-of-a-kind dolls in their likeness, including the legendary tennis star Venus Williams. This initiative by Mattel not only commemorates Barbie’s legacy but also aims to empower young girls by showcasing real-life role models who have made significant contributions to sports.

Venus Williams, a powerhouse in the world of tennis, is one of the most decorated athletes in the sport. With four Olympic gold medals and seven Grand Slam singles titles, Williams has consistently shattered glass ceilings. Notably, in 2007, she became the first woman in tennis to earn equal prize money at Wimbledon, setting a precedent for gender equality in sports.

Williams' Barbie doll captures her iconic look on the tennis court, complete with a white tennis dress, visor, matching sneakers, a racket in hand, and her signature gold hoop earrings. This depiction is more than just a tribute to her athletic prowess; it symbolizes her role as a pioneer and an inspiration for future generations.

"Throughout my career, I’ve always been driven by the idea of shattering glass ceilings and staying true to myself, and Barbie’s mission couldn’t resonate more deeply with that ethos," Williams said in a statement from Mattel. "I’m honored to be recognized as a sports role model and join forces with Team Barbie to continue empowering the next generation of young girls to never stop believing in their dreams."

Krista Berger, Senior Vice President of Barbie and Global Head of Dolls at Mattel, emphasized the importance of sports in fostering self-confidence, ambition, and empowerment among young girls. "By shining a light on these inspirational athletes and their stories, we hope to champion the belief that every young girl deserves the opportunity to pursue her passions and turn her dreams into reality," Berger stated.

The initiative extends beyond the creation of the dolls. Barbie Role Models like Venus Williams will participate in virtual mentoring sessions throughout the year, hosted on the VOICEINSPORT platform. These sessions aim to inspire young girls to stay in sports by providing valuable insights and inspiration from their athletic heroes.

Stef Strack, Founder of VOICEINSPORT, highlighted the significance of visibility and mentorship for young girls in sports. "As a young girl and now a mother of a young girl in sports, unlocking access to professional athlete mentors on the VOICEINSPORT platform with Team Barbie is a dream come true," Strack said. "We built VOICEINSPORT to bring more visibility to women athletes globally so that girls around the world would be inspired to dream big and build confidence to stay in the game."

The Barbie brand's 65th anniversary celebration includes a range of new sports doll lineups and playsets, featuring basketball players, boxers, tennis players, and volleyball players. These additions are designed to encourage the next generation of empowered women to explore a future in sports through play.

Retail giants like Walmart, Target, and Amazon are offering exclusive Barbie-themed products and content, further amplifying the voices of these inspiring women. Additionally, Target has contributed a $65,000 donation to The Dream Gap Project, supporting girls in writing their own legacies.

Venus Williams' new Barbie doll stands as a powerful example of what can be achieved when passion meets perseverance. It encourages girls to dream big, believe in their limitless possibilities, and pursue their passions with the same determination and confidence that Williams exemplifies both on and off the court.

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