‘Sports Illustrated’ Model Ashley Graham Unveils Body-Positive Barbie Doll in Her Likeness
Models| | By Jason Owen
Ashley Graham has unveiled her very own Barbie doll.
The body positive American model, who continues to promote messages of self-acceptance and female empowerment, presented a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness at Glamour‘s Women of the Year summit in Los Angeles on Monday. Graham was also awarded with the The Body Activist gong at Glamour‘s annual Women of the Year Awards.
“We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty and continue to push for a more inclusive world,” said Graham in a statement. “I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries. It’s an honor to be immortalized in plastic.”
General Manager of Barbie, Lisa McKnight, added that it was an honor to work with the Sports Illustrated model, as she is a true trailblazer who inspires girls to break boundaries and expand possibilities.
“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,” she said.
Graham’s doll is dressed in a miniature recreation of one of her favorite outfits – a sparkly Opening Ceremony dress along with a Sonia Rykiel cropped jean jacket and Pierre Hardy boots. And the 28-year-old had one major request for the doll – no thigh gap.
“She had to have her thighs touch. No ands, ifs or buts about it,” she shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible. The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”
Graham’s Barbie doll is part of Mattel’s effort to embrace diversity and inclusivity, with actress Emmy Rossum, ballerina Misty Copeland, actress and singer Zendaya and director Ava DuVernay among the women in Hollywood to receive their own Barbies this past year.
Earlier this year, Barbie also expanded their Fashionistas doll line by introducing three new body types – tall, curvy and petite – along with a range of seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.