At last night’s Glamour Women of the Year event, Mattel presented Graham (one of the two ladies of the evening, the other being Gwen Stefani) with a Barbie doll made in her likeness. The gift was no surprise — Graham had helped develop her mini-me.
“Mattel partnered up with Glamour and they chose one of the Women of the Year to do a Barbie, and they chose me,” the model told Fashionista, adding, “I was completely shocked and wowed. I didn’t process what that actually meant until they [told me], ‘We’re going to need photos of every angle of your body. We’re going to need to know what she wants to wear…’ and I was like, ‘This is haaaaaaaappening!’ It was crazy! First of all, you’re told you’re one of the Glamour Women of the Year and then you’re told, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re making a Barbie of you.’ It’s a lot to take in.”
Throughout the process, the body positivity advocate was adamant that the doll physically resemble her as much as possible. “She had to have her thighs touch,” Graham told The Hollywood Reporter. “No ands, ifs or buts about it. And I asked for cellulite but obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand.”
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In the end, Barbie Ashley got a sparkly dress and denim jacket to wear over her round belly, round hips, “round everything.” Her human counterpart was very pleased. “If I had a Barbie that looked like this growing up, who knows what I would’ve thought about my thighs. I may not have hated them as much,” the America’s Next Top Model judge told Fashionista.
“Ashley Graham is a trailblazer who inspires every woman – and girl – to see the beauty in herself,” stated Lisa McKnight, general manager of Barbie. “This year Barbie has evolved to be more inclusive by adding three new body shapes into the line and we hope our relationship with Ashley will further make an impact.”
Ashley’s figurine is the most recent addition to the toymaker’s Sheroes series, a capsule collection of Barbies cast in honor of badass women in the entertainment and fashion industries (previous molds include Zendaya, Eva Chen, Ava DuVernay and Misty Copeland). While, at present, Mattel doesn’t intend to sell Graham’s doll — the line is more of a symbol of the company’s move towards inclusivity than anything else — previous Sheroes have generated so much buzz that the company caved and put them on sale. (Misty Copeland’s is now available for purchase at thebarbiecollection.com.) So, let’s get that Change.org petition going?