Misty Copeland's Barbie Doll Is Here to Show Girls They Can Be Anyone

If we could dream up an ideal role model for our daughters, she'd look a lot like Misty Copeland. She'd be smart and talented and poised and strong and determined, and we guess she might as well be the first black principal ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre, because that shows a kind of toughness we want our daughters to have, too. So actually, just forget this "ideal role model" thing -- we'll take Misty instead. And thanks to Barbie and its new line of "Sheroes," we can finally take our perfect role model home in doll form: Misty Copeland is now an official Barbie, and we're about to buy 200 Misty dolls to give to every little girl we know.


Barbie's line of Sheroes is shooting to honor the real-life women who break boundaries and inspire young girls to do the same. Naturally, Misty is a perfect choice -- in June 2015, she was promoted to principal ballerina of the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) after 14 years of dancing with the company. She's the first black ballerina to get the title in the company's 75-year history, and if that doesn't count as "breaking boundaries," then we don't know what does.

We were thrilled to meet Misty and get a firsthand look at her beautiful new Barbie.

"It doesn't feel real," Misty told The Stir. "Barbie was such a big part of my childhood and my adolescence; I mean, I really played with Barbie until I was 13 -- I stopped right when I started going to ballet classes for the first time ... It's just an honor to be part of such an iconic figure."

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Misty's doll looks a lot like Misty, and we have Misty to thank for that. She was heavily involved in the design process, and everything from her skin tone to her defined leg muscles represents the Misty we want to see. "I went through every step," she told us, from "the shape of the nose and the eyes and the fullness of the lip" to "the color of the hair and the size of the bust."

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Her dress, too, is the most Misty we could imagine -- the fiery red is inspired by Misty's dress from her first principal role with the ABT as Firebird.

"Firebird was such a significant role for me in my career ... we felt that was so powerful to have her be in that costume," Misty said.

Misty Copeland Barbie

Barbie's been on a mission lately to show girls (through its dolls) that they can be anything they want -- whether that's a doctor or a pop star or a black ballerina in an industry that's historically very, very white. 

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It's working, because we're adults and this Misty doll has us dreaming of a future as a prima ballerina. Imagine the effect this kind of dreaming could have on our daughters instead of us?

Where Misty is involved, it'll only be a good effect, if her advice for young girls is any indication at all: "It's important to understand that you are an individual, and that's what makes us all special, as human beings -- and to own that," Misty tells us. "Your individuality makes you beautiful. There's no set standard of what beauty is, or strength -- it comes in so many different packages."

Finally, she says, "Try not to let other people's words seep in and define you or change the way you think about things."

They're words of wisdom we can ALL learn from -- no matter how old we are.


Image via Barbie

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