U.S. Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas is the latest inspiring woman to receive Barbie's highest honor—being immortalized in plastic. At the age of 16, Douglas became the first woman of color to win the individual all-around competition for gymnastics at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Now, as she heads to Rio to defend her title, Douglas (who is now 20) remains a force to be reckoned with. "Her confidence, work ethic and belief in herself make her an extraordinary role model to girls," Barbie said in a statement.
Named the next Barbie "Shero" (a female hero inspiring girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities for women everywhere), Douglas joins an esteemed group of women including Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, Emmy Rossum, Eva Chen, Trisha Yearwood and Zendaya, who all have Barbie dolls in their likeness.
"I love a challenge. I love to push limits and I love that my very own Barbie celebrates me for being a role model to girls," said Douglas. "Being honored as a Barbie Shero further motivates me to inspire girls by being the best I can be."
Dressed in a red, white, and blue Gabby GK Elite leotard, the doll comes complete with a stylish Nike warm-up suit. The doll is also fully articulated, which means that it can do almost all of Gabby's gold-winning moves.
"Playing with Barbie allows girls to imagine everything they can become," Lisa McKnight, general manager and senior vice president of Barbie said in a statement released by Mattel. "While imagining you can be anything is the first step, seeing that you can is what makes all the difference. Role models like Gabby Douglas show girls that with determination and perseverance their potential is limitless."