At just 20 years old, Yara Shahidi is already one of the most influential celebrities of her generation. The actress and activist is politically engaged, and has been speaking out about feminism, racism, STEM awareness and more social justice issues since the beginning of her career.
The grown-ish star was honored for her activism work with her very own Barbie Shero Doll — as part of the toy company’s ongoing Role Model Series (which aims to inspire young girls by highlighting empowering female role models including Alex Morgan, Naomi Osaka and Adwoa Aboah) — in March 2019.
Now, ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Mattel is relaunching the collectable doll to encourage young people to learn more about the voting process and cast a ballot if they are able.
The doll looks identical to Shahidi, dressed in a grey pinstripe suit and the same Tory Burch “Vote” t-shirt the actress wore to the Eighteen X 18 Presents We Vote Next Summit in September 2018. The doll's hair is also styled in an afro, celebrating Shahidi's natural hair texture. In true Barbie fashion, no detail was left unattended — the Yara Shahidi Barbie Doll has a QR code that links to voter registration resource WeVoteNext on the package and comes complete with an “I Voted” sticker on her black leather backpack.
The collectible doll “empowers the next generation of voters to stand up for what they believe in, emphasizes the importance of using one’s voice at every age, and shows young voters how they hold the power to help shape a better future,” a Barbie press release states. It retails for $29.99 and is available now for pre-sale exclusively on Amazon and barbie.com (the doll officially launches on Oct. 9).
When her Barbie was first unveiled last year, Shahidi celebrated on Instagram, writing, "I’m honored to be repping all the young ones as a Barbie Role Model. Let’s continue to inspire the next generation and each other. We need your voices and are watching you all Blossom and shine!”
Lisa McKnight, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Barbie, reflected on the empowering Role Model Series — and Barbie's legacy — in a statement last year: "For 60 years, Barbie has championed girls, inspired generations to believe through make believe and showed them that they have choices," she said.
"With more than 200 careers, six runs for president and a trip to the moon before Neil Armstrong, Barbie continues to evolve to be a modern, relevant role model for all ages," McKnight continued. "The Barbie brand believes girls should never know a world, job, or dream women haven’t conquered. Through our global platform, we are igniting a movement to help close the Dream Gap and further establish Barbie as the ultimate girl empowerment brand."
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