With her hair-care business, Madam C.J. Walker became the first documented female self-made millionaire and Mattel is honoring her with a new Barbie doll.
“Don’t wait for opportunities to come – make them,” the Barbie official Instagram account started off their post announcing the new doll. “#Barbie is proud to introduce Madam CJ Walker as the newest doll in the Inspiring Women line. With a sharp instinct and unflinching determination, Madam Walker was the nation’s first self-made female millionaire, creating a business that pioneered modern Black haircare.”
The post continued, “Born to sharecropper parents who had been formerly enslaved, she set the blueprint for the American businesswoman, and tirelessly supported civil rights organizations and philanthropies as her enterprise grew. With role models like Madam CJ Walker, girls can see that their imaginations are only the beginning to what they can achieve. #YouCanBeAnything”
The new Madam C.J. Walker Barbie Doll is a part of Mattel’s “Inspiring Women Series.” If you remember, several prominent Black women have already been immortalized as a Barbie prior to Madam Walker. Previous dolls have included Ida B. Wells, Ella Fitzgerald and Maya Angelou, among others. A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, who also wrote Walker’s biography, said it’s exciting to see her great-great grandmother honored alongside such prominent Black women.
“It’s great to have her in that company,” Bundles told the IndyStar, part of the USA TODAY Network, in a recent interview.
#Barbie is proud to introduce Madam CJ Walker as the newest doll in the Inspiring Women line. With unflinching determination, Madam Walker was the nation’s first self-made female millionaire, creating a business that pioneered modern Black haircare. https://t.co/TlcCeZew7L pic.twitter.com/zUtHWCsrAK
— Barbie (@Barbie) August 24, 2022
In a recent statement about the new doll, Mattel’s executive vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls for Mattel, Lisa McKnight, echoed the same excitement as Bundles.
“As a pioneer in entrepreneurship, philanthropy and activism, creating the blueprint for the self-made American businesswoman and innovators of the twentieth century, Madam C.J. Walker is an embodiment of our Barbie Inspiring Women series.”
The Madam C.J. Walker Barbie doll is dressed in a stylish turquoise and purple dress and comes with her famous “Madam C.J. Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower” as an accessory.
Fun Fact: Madam C.J. Walker built her home, a mansion called “Villa Lewaro,” for originally $250,000, ($4 million today), in Irvington, New York. She was “next door neighbors” to oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller. Their homes were within five miles of each other.
Congratulations, Madam Walker on this well-deserved honor! We cannot wait to see who is next on Mattel’s list. To purchase the Madam C.J. Walker Barbie Doll, click here.
Photo Credit(s): Barbie Instagram/Twitter; Biography.com; Daily Mail