Barbie has released its latest doll in its “Shero” collection, and it honors none other than Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez.
The 18-year-old athlete, who competed during the 2016 Rio Olympics, unveiled the doll on social media, writing, “GUYS!! I’m so excited to announce the launch of my very own “Shero” @barbie ! Breaking boundaries and reminding all girls that you can be ANYTHING.”
The doll is completely posable and, as Hernandez puts it, “moves like a gymnast.” Like a true athlete, it comes with all the essential sporting items, including two leotards, a pair of sweatpants and a gym bag. The most defining qualities of the Barbie aren’t the accessories, however, as the doll features Hernandez’s signature smile and curls.
According to the Huffington Post, when creating the doll, Hernandez made sure it would have curly hair so that other young girls could see themselves represented in the figure.
“Now that there’s a doll that has my curls, little girls out there with curls are going to look at her too and be able to say ‘Wow she looks like me’ and find comfort in that.”
While the olympian is confident about her hairstyle now, she admits that she didn’t always feel this way. “I remember always wanting to straighten my hair as a kid,” she says. “But now that I’m older I’m embracing these curls. I love how crazy and messy they are.”
As well as Hernandez, the “Shero” collection includes other athletes, including fellow “Final Five” gymnast Gabby Douglas, snowboarding champion Chloe Kim and fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad. The collection is meant to honor women who are breaking boundaries, and with Hernandez being the third Latina in history to make the women’s Olympics gymnastics team, Barbie thought she would be a perfect addition.
The Laurie Hernandez doll is now available for purchase at Walmart.