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Venus Williams Gets the Barbie Treatment

Venus Williams Gets the Barbie Treatment

Mattel announces in continued celebration of Barbie’s 65th anniversary, that the brand is honouring nine athletes around the world – including Tennis icon Venus Williams, doctor & paratriathlete Susana Rodriguez and Man City WFC player Mary Fowler – with one-of-a-kind role model dolls made in their likeness. Knowing that girls involved in team sports are more likely to believe they are smart enough for their dream career, have high opinions on their abilities and competencies, increased leadership aspirations and enjoy higher levels of self-confidence 1, Barbie is highlighting sports role models to show girls that anything is possible if you relentlessly pursue your passions.

One of the most decorated Olympic athletes with four gold medals, and the first woman in tennis to earn equal prize money at Wimbledon, Venus Williams has courageously persevered through countless obstacles to inspire social change within tennis and the sports industry at large.  Her Barbie doll comes with its own miniature racquet and ball, earrings and is dressed top to toe in tennis whites including a tennis visor. 

“Throughout my career, I’ve always been driven by the idea of shattering glass ceilings and staying true to myself, and Barbie’s mission couldn’t resonate more deeply with that ethos,” US Tennis Player Venus Williams said. “I’m honoured to be recognised as a sports role model and join forces with Team Barbie to continue empowering the next generation of young girls to never stop believing in their dreams.”

Including Venus, Barbie is highlighting the stories of 9 female sporting role models around the world who have broken boundaries in their field. Each receive a one-of-a-kind doll in their likeness, with bespoke sports accessories. The lineup includes Spain’s Susana Rodriguez, who was born with albinism and began running at age 10, since becoming a barrier-breaking paratriathlon athlete. As well as setting records in her sport, she worked as a young doctor on the front lines amid the pandemic, earning her the cover of TIME magazine in 2021. Susana’s Barbie comes with its own support animal accessory, the mirror-image of Susana’s very own guide-dog ‘Yellow’.

“Being chosen as a Barbie role model is a source of pride for me.” says doctor and paratriathlete Susana Rodriguez. “I hope that girls, when they see me and my Barbie together, see an example of someone who despite having certain challenges can achieve their goals through work, effort and above all self-belief.”

Man City WFC striker Mary Fowler has become a key player for Australian national team the Matildas as well as for Man City in the UK. She was selected for the FIFA World Cup in 2019 and became the team’s youngest player at 16 years old, has been to two FIFA World Cups, the 2020 Olympic Games and will also represent her country in Paris 2024. Her doll sports her trademark gloves, bubble braid hair-style and favourite football boots and comes with its own miniature football.

“Sport has been important to me in terms of creating my sense of self. I think it has definitely shaped me into the person I am today. If I look back on my journey and I think about the moments when I really felt like I took a step forward in my growth as a person, they’ve all been from moments where I was challenged as an athlete,” said Manchester City WFC footballer Mary Fowler continuing, “The advice I like to give to aspiring athletes is to not be afraid of making mistakes.”

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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