As sad as we were to see superstar Abby Wambach finally, inevitably retire from professional soccer last year, it seems clear that Wambach is not done being awesome by any stretch of the imagination. And the latest news to get excited about: Abby Wambach has a Barbie doll modeled after her. And wonder of wonders, they really did get the hair down.
Barbie certainly has changed a lot from the days when I was a kid, when her proportions and image made my feminist mother sigh. Now, Barbie not only has a variety of body types, but celebrities from Zendaya to JK Rowling to Ava duVernay have been made into Barbies — all of which is, in a word, awesome. It's especially awesome to see a sports star added to the list, and all the more so since Wambach seem to be the first openly LGBTQ person to have a Barbie modeled after her. Clearly, it was time.
Unfortunately, Barbies from the "Sheroes Collection," like Wambach's new doll, typically aren't available for purchase at local toy stores or online; they're made to be collector items that will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charity. However, it seems that Mattel might be making an exception for Wambach, although the doll isn't available for order at this time. Either way, just having the doll at all is a major milestone, and it's clear that Wambach herself is excited.
"I'm not gonna lie, you guys may not believe this, I was a Barbie kid ... I played with Barbies my whole life," she told the audience at the MAKERS Conference where the doll was unveiled. "Playing with Barbies that may or may not have looked like myself growing up, I think this is a really impactful statement ... it just proves that we really are getting somewhere. ... If you're out there and maybe your doll doesn't look exactly like you feel, here's another option."
As Kim Culmone, Vice President of Barbie Global said while unveiling the doll, play matters, and representation matters because, "if she can see it, she can be it." Which is why, despite all of Barbie's other drawbacks, she's had jobs like astronaut and doctor to inspire girls. And now, girls can see not only a badass sports star represented in their favorite toy line, but also an openly gay woman — including her signature pixie cut with the shaved sides; because not every girl or woman need Barbies signature long, flowing hair, either.
Hopefully, the Abby Wambach doll (or one like it) will be available for little girls to play with soon, but for now it seems that at least one Barbie fan is getting to enjoy having one, and Wambach seems pretty happy with it.
Image: Abby Wambach/Instagram