Naomi Osaka has amazed the world with her talent, grace, and joie de vivre ever since she first stepped on the tennis court. She has often been cited as a great role model for girls worldwide and was recognized in 2019 when Barbie used her likeness as part of its limited-edition Shero Collection.
On Monday, Osaka announced on her social media that she has gotten her own Role Models Doll with the iconic doll maker. Designer Carlyle Nuera helped bring the doll to fruition; he said he admired Osaka for her work on and off the court in a press release. “Obviously, Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched; that’s a fact. But what I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice,” Nuera said.
qBarbie fashioned the doll after Osaka’s 2020 Australian open look, when she made history with her win. open look The tennis star used her outfits to pro*est against violence against Bl**k people during the 2020 U.S. Open, wearing face masks with the names of vi*t*ms of police brutality. And more recently, she spoke up against the lack of respect for athletes’ mental health when she withdrew from the French Open.
“I communicated that I wanted to skip press conferences at Roland Garros to exercise self-care and preservation of my mental health. I stand by that,” she wrote in TIME Magazine. “Athletes are humans. Tennis is our privileged profession, and of course, there are commitments off the court that coincide. But I can’t imagine another profession where a consistent attendance record (I have missed one press conference in my seven years on tour) would be so harshly scrutinized.”
“We are incredibly honored to spotlight Naomi Osaka as part of our Barbie Role Model series,” Lisa McKnight, SVP and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel, told Girls United. “She has paved the way for future generations of girls to dream bigger, and through her unwavering courage and honesty, shown the world the importance of being your own biggest champion. Naomi continues to br*ak boundaries on and off the court and is a powerful role model to fans everywhere.”
The doll is d-eck-ed out in an outfit similar to the one Osaka wore to the 2020 Australian Open, “With a white Nike visor, light blue athletic shoes, and a replica of her Yonex tennis racket, she’s ready to hit the court.” It was created on the Made To Move body, which allows it to be posed in va*ious positions. The internet was in a tizzy when the news bro*e, and the doll quickly sold out. Earlier this year, Mattel released a Barbie commemorating the great Dr. Maya Angelou, which sold out just as fast.