Mattel is making a Barbie doll in honour of the former US soccer player Abby Wambach.
Last month, Mattel announced a new strategy for Barbie dolls — launching a range of toys with different body types and darker skin colors. It formed part of the company's wider attempt to “properly recalibrate the brand to modern attitudes.”
In a move that underscores the toymaker’s commitment, an Abby Wambach doll was featured at the Makers Conference this week. The U.S. soccer legend was on hand at the unveiling. Openly gay and a champion for gender equality in sports and beyond, she spoke about the importance the doll can have on young girls.
"Playing with Barbies that may or may not have looked like I felt growing up, I think that this is a really impactful statement," said Wambach. ”It just proves that we really are getting somewhere. Not everybody is treated equal. And if you're out there and maybe your doll doesn't look exactly like you feel, here's another option.”
The all-time leading scorer among men and women in soccer history, two-time Olympic champion and Women’s World Cup winner, Wambach revealed a bit of her own history as the youngest of seven children in Western New York state.
“You guys may not believe this but I was a Barbie kid, like for real. I’m not just saying that,” she said. “When I told my mom (Judy) two days ago that this was happening she said, ‘Oh my gosh! Can you get like a case of those things?’”
Her mother applauded Mattel’s approach and vision.
“(They are) actually trying to show that anybody can be anybody what they want to be,” Judy Wambach said. “They don’t have to wear beautiful gowns, they can wear a nurse’s outfit or a soccer uniform. It’s OK to be feminine. It’s OK to be a tomboy. It’s just OK to be what you want to be.”
Never one to avoid candor and an opportunity at levity, Abby Wambach, who retired this past December, noted that the doll looked a bit thinner compared to her current physique.
“I’m going to actually have to go on a run because she looks a little bit svelte.”
Source: Rochester Democrat & Herald