The doll, with “curly hair and beautiful brown skin,” has a microphone in her hand, depicting her role as a sports journalist New Delhi: This International Women’s Day, Barbie wants women to know that their voices must also be heard. As part of a Women’s Day campaign, Barbie has modelled its first-ever Maori doll after Black Fern player-turned-sports journalist Melodie Robinson. The doll, with “curly hair and beautiful brown skin,” has a microphone in her hand, depicting her role as a journalist.
Besides being one of the most recognised journalists in New Zealand, Robinson was also an international rugby union player. With New Zealand’s women’s team, the Black Ferns, she won two rugby world cups.
“Seriously cool to be selected to inspire young girls with the first ever New Zealand Barbie – she’s Maori and a commentator!” said Robinson on Instagram.
‘Little Maori girls will see their future celebrated’
The National President of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, Prue Kapua, was quoted as saying that Barbie’s decision to release a Maori doll was “very positive” for its community. “The fact that there is a Maori Barbie doll will hopefully encourage younger girls to know more about our culture and Maori people,” she said.
"[Locally], we have our own dolls that are reflective of Maori women but this is the first in terms of a worldwide brand. It's a very positive thing in terms of awareness."
"Anytime a Maori woman is acknowledged for her achievements, whether it's in an ancestral song, a beautiful carving or as a doll, I'm happy, because little Maori girls will see their future being celebrated," Puawai Cairns, Head of the Maori Collection at the Museum of New Zealand, said.
The doll is part of a series on role models, including actress Yara Shahidi, tennis star Naomi Osaka and visual artist Shen Man.
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