Naomi Osaka Has Her Own Barbie Doll And We Need it in Our Lives - Women's Health

Naomi Osaka Has Her Own Barbie Doll And We Need it in Our Lives

The Barbie doll of the tennis star has sold out following Osaka's recent op-ed about her own mental health struggles.

by | Jul 14, 2021

Twitter/Mattel

At a time where Instagram and social media continue to package our lives as a highlight reel whereby any negative feelings or emotional distress are cast aside and obscured from view, the fact that Naomi Osaka not only championed mental health but spoke openly about her own struggles is cause for celebration. So rarely in sport do we see athletes tackle the issue of mental health, as by its very nature competition rests on the belief that you are stronger, both mentally and physically, than your opponents, and any talk of struggle is to admit defeat. When Osaka pulled out of the French Open in an effort to put her mental health first, the world suddenly realised that even the best have off days and that it’s OK to not be OK. 

Now, it seems that message is one that resonates. After Mattel released a Naomi Osaka Barbie doll honouring the beloved tennis champion, people can’t get enough of it. Having been designed by Carlyle Neuro as part of a Barbie Role Models Doll line featuring inspiring women from around the world, Osaka’s doll has sold out as people continue to gravitate towards it not only for the person it has immortalised, but for her powerful message to young women everywhere. 

As Osaka announced the collaboration, she wrote: “I hope every child is reminded that they can be and do anything.” The doll features the tennis star wearing a Nike tennis dress inspired by her 2020 Australian Open outfit, complete with Nike shoes, a visor, and Yonex tennis racket. There’s also her bouncy, curly hair and beauty marks, celebrating the unique style of the four-time Grand Slam champion. 

As Neura explained in a statement, “Obviously Naomi’s athletic skill is unmatched, that’s a fact. But what I personally admire the most about Naomi Osaka is how she uses her platform, the spotlight on her and her voice, to raise awareness about social justice.”

Since withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon in light of her mental health struggles, Osaka penned an opinion piece for the New York Times. In it, she wrote, “Today, given the television coverage we receive and our prominence on social media, athletes have platforms that are larger and more visible than ever before. The way I see it, that also means that we have a greater responsibility to speak up.”

All eyes will now turn to Osaka as she gears up for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However for those wanting to snag her Barbie Doll, unfortunately it appears there might be quite a wait. Despite a purchase limit of two dolls per person, the $29.99 Barbie has sold out due to high demand and honestly, we don’t blame them. 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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