The number one professional tennis player of the Women’s Tennis Association, Naomi Osaka, is now officially a Barbie Girl in this Barbie World. In Mattel’s new line of Barbie dolls, the world-renowned tennis star becomes part of the Barbie Role Model series sporting her 2020 Australian Open outfit. The doll wears a Nike tennis dress with a white visor and wields her very own Yonex tennis racket.
The 23-year-old tennis player won her first-ever grand slam title in 2018. With her explosive tennis career still ahead of her, the four-time grand slam winner is known to be an outspoken figure on the professional tennis circuit who regularly addresses issues on human rights, racial injustice, and mental health during her interviews.
On Monday, to announce the collaboration, Naomi Osaka tweeted: “I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything.” Mattel commissioned designer Carlyle Nuera to make the doll, and he spoke of his admiration for Osaka. “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,” said Nuera in an interview.
The doll marks Naomi Osaka’s second appearance as a Barbie doll as she was one of the 20 women gifted unique dolls created in their own likeness as part of Barbie’s “Shero” line, a line of dolls dedicated to female heroes of our time. The esteemed tennis professional has had a massive global impact, having been heavily involved in the Black Lives Matter movement and regularly showcasing her Japanese roots.
Osaka is set to represent Japan at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. Recently, the four-time grand slam winner opened up about her mental health. She described the mental situation that prompted her to withdraw from the French Open and called for the sport of Tennis to better accommodate its athletes. “All worth it,” expressed Naomi Osaka as she stood up for her own mental health.
With the recent collaboration with Barbie, Naomi Osaka is given a much wider platform to spread her message to younger women. She hopes to make children believe that they can be anything and they shouldn’t be afraid to dream. They should never stop being themselves and valuing what they truly want in this world.
Naomi Osaka continues to be a wellspring of positive motivation for countless women everywhere. As an empowered female minority, she has developed her platform toward lending her voice to the pressing issues that plague our society and the diverse communities that are often brought down.
The world-renowned Tennis champion is a beacon of light during these trying times, and she deserves all the recognition that is coming her way. She is a fitting addition to the Barbie Role Models line, and children from all over the world deserve to have an inspirational role model such as Naomi Osaka to look up to. Thankfully, her collaboration with Mattel’s Barbie has made all of that a reality, rather than just another far-off dream.