Hernandez will be the newest doll in Mattel’s Barbie “Shero” line.
Calling all Laurie Hernandez fans: You will soon be able to buy a Barbie doll made in her likeness.
Barbie is creating a doll that looks like the Olympic gymnast for Mattel’s “Shero” line, which includes dolls in the likenesses of director Ava DuVernay, dancer Misty Copeland and fellow Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Hernandez’s Barbie is fully posable (so everyone can do gymnastics with her) and comes with two leotards and a gym bag.
“Girls need more role models like Laurie, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning, and seeing that they can makes all the difference,” a spokesperson for Mattel told HuffPost.
Hernandez, 18, told HuffPost she is honored to have her very own Barbie and to be in the company of such amazing women.
“I was so excited to know that I would have a Barbie that looks like me,” she told HuffPost.
“It’s such an honor knowing that I’m a Barbie Shero along with many other incredible women like Misty Copeland and Ashley Graham,” Hernandez continued. “I am so excited that kids are going to be able to grow up with people that I looked up to as well, and hopefully they can see me as an inspiration too.”
Hernandez competed on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she won gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam. At just 16 years old, Hernandez became the third Latina in history to make the women’s Olympic gymnastics team, and the first U.S.-born Latina to make the team since 1984.
Aside from ensuring that the doll looked like her, Hernandez said the most important detail of the design process was her Barbie’s curly hair.
“I remember always wanting to straighten my hair as a kid, but now that I’m older I’m embracing these curls. I love how crazy and messy they are,” she said. “Now that there’s a doll that has my curls, little girls out there with curls are going to look at her too and be able to say ‘Wow she looks like me’ and find comfort in that.”
Hernandez added that she’s on “cloud nine” knowing that she’s in the company of trailblazing women like Douglas, Copeland and Muhammad.
“I think that all of these women are big catalysts for the younger generation to watch and see how they do things and to know that we’re all so different,” she said. “I definitely see it as a responsibility as well. I recognize that I do have a platform and that people are watching what I do and I can use that for good.”
Continue onto the Huffington Post to read the complete article.