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Black Girl Magic of the Week

Jealena Dillard

I was the little girl who only admired my Barbie dolls in the box; that is, until 1999, when Mattel launched the Brandy Barbie. At the time, she was a popular singer and actor with her own television show. I was a huge Brandy fan.  Brandy was beautiful; and in my eyes, she looked just like me with her braided locks, dark skin and fashionable clothes. She represented me and I wanted to take my Brandy Barbie everywhere with me.  

With overwhelming success in 2012, Gabby Douglas is gearing up for her second Olympic games later this summer in Rio  Not only has she been officially selected for the U.S. women's gymnastics Olympic team, she now has her own Barbie doll!

Mattel recently unveiled a Gabby Douglas Barbie, one in its new line of "Shero" dolls, to honor Douglas' groundbreaking efforts, after she became the first woman of color to win the individual all-around competition at the 2012, The line also includes the likenesses of Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya -- all of whom focus on female heroes who inspire girls by breaking boundaries.’

Gabby Douglas Barbie closely resembles the Olympian with outfits and hair similar to the likeness of her and it will be able to scale a balance beam. I am reminded of when I was a little girl and how I loved my favorite Barbie doll.  I can relate with how much her young fans are going to love their new Gabby Barbie.   Gabby knows this is a huge honor and she hopes the kids playing with her doll will take away her number-one lesson for young women and men: Stay true to yourself, and go after your dreams. 

The Gabby doll is not available yet but can be purchased at

Douglas lives by the same motto EVOLVE does; that’s “just be you and love yourself and embrace yourself.”