Home Doll industry Barbie Honors Businesswoman Madame CJ Walker With New Doll: NPR

Barbie Honors Businesswoman Madame CJ Walker With New Doll: NPR

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Madam CJ Walker is the latest woman to join Barbie’s Inspiring Women collection. Walker’s great-great-granddaughter worked with Barbie to incorporate details from the pioneering businesswoman’s life.

Mattel


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Mattel


Madam CJ Walker is the latest woman to join Barbie’s Inspiring Women collection. Walker’s great-great-granddaughter worked with Barbie to incorporate details from the pioneering businesswoman’s life.

Mattel

Madam CJ Walker joins the Barbie Inspiring Women line of dolls.

Walker, often referred to as the nation’s first documented self-made female millionaire, was known for her entrepreneurial skills as she built her hair care and cosmetics brand from the ground up.

But in addition to her beauty empire, Walker was also known for her philanthropic and social justice efforts, including her contributions to the NAACP anti-lynching movement. It’s Walker’s whole story that her great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles hopes younger generations will learn through the new doll.

“I hope when little girls and little boys pick up the doll, they see something a little different from just a generic doll, that it’s a doll that has a story,” said Bundles told NPR. “And as an entrepreneur and as a boss and as a philanthropist and a patron of the arts and someone who cares about social justice, that maybe they will see themselves and take one of those narratives. “

As Walker’s official biographer, Bundles worked with Barbie on the creation of the doll.

Her input and knowledge went into creating Walker’s vibrant outfit that showcases the entrepreneur’s favorite colors – purple and turquoise – as well as the doll’s hair and packaging that features a historic photo of the Walker’s Villa Lewaro residence, a gathering place for people during the Harlem Renaissance. The doll even comes with a mini replica of Walker’s original Wonderful Hair Grower – a pomade that has helped with many scalp issues.

Madame Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles worked with Barbie to create the new doll.

A’Lelia Packs


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A’Lelia Packs


Madame Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles worked with Barbie to create the new doll.

A’Lelia Packs

Bundles shared memories of her first black doll and the importance of having black representation in the toy industry.

“It means a lot that a child can look at a doll, can have a doll that looks like them,” Bundles said. “And that doesn’t mean that black kids should only have black dolls and white kids should only have white dolls. … But I like the idea that kids can really have someone who looks like them…so they know they’re part of the world.”

Walker joins the ranks of Ida B. Wells, Billie Jean King, Jane Goodall and many other innovative women who also had Barbies made in their image.

“As a pioneer of entrepreneurship, philanthropy and activism, creating the model for the self-made American businesswoman and 20th century innovators, Madame CJ Walker is an embodiment of our Barbie Inspiring Women series” , said Lisa McKnight, executive and global vice president, the head of Barbie and dolls for Mattel said in a statement.

The doll is available on Amazon and Walmart.com for $35.