In Case You Didn’t Know: Black Celebrity Barbie Dolls

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Barbie turned 64 this week (and looks amazing for her age). From child to adult, Barbie has impacted the lives of many people all over the world. The doll was first unveiled by Mattel in 1959 at NYC’s American Toy Fair. Since then the doll blew up in popularity. The brand has even honored some historical changemakers and public figures by creating a doll in their image. Need help remembering some? We’ve got you with this week’s In Case You Didn’t Know.

Halle Bailey’s Barbie

Just this week, Halle Bailey received her own Barbie doll. Bailey will make her movie debut this year as the live-action of Ariel in The Little Mermaid. The toy company revealed the new Ariel Barbie doll fashioned after Bailey this Tuesday and consequently almost brought the actress to tears.

Laverne Cox’s Barbie

Mattel released its first transgender doll in honor of Laverne Cox in 2021. The doll is a part of the Barbie’s Tribute Collection, which highlights cultural trailblazers. It also came the same year as Cox celebrated her 50th birthday.


Zendaya got her Barbie doll in 2015 fashioned after her Grammys look that year, which shook up the internet. Her choice of locs to go with her look was heavily criticized as well as received some racial backlash that year. Thus making her feel more confident that the look was needed for society to start taking Black hair more seriously. 

Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland also received her doll in 2016. The limited-edition Misty Copeland Barbie recognized her as the first African American woman to be appointed as a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theatre. She achieved this feat in 2015, being the first do so in ABT’s 75-year history. The doll’s look was fashioned after her Firebird costume from her first ABT principal role.