New Barbie Honors Anna May Wong For AAPI Heritage Month

The new Barbie doll "honors a trailblazing icon," Old Hollywood star Anna May Wong.

Mattel is honoring Chinese American actress Anna May Wong with her own Barbie. The new doll, part of the Inspiring Women series, is also in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The Barbie, which is already sold out, depicts Wong in an outfit reminiscent of one she wore in her iconic 1934 film “Limehouse Blues.”

“Anna May Wong is considered the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star,” says the description for the new doll. “Frustrated with being typecast in stereotypical roles, she founded her own production company in 1924 and continued breaking barriers throughout her career. Wearing a red gown with a golden dragon design, this collectible Barbie doll honors a trailblazing icon.”

Barbie Debuts First Doll Representing Someone With Down Syndrome

Wong’s niece, Anna Wong, also worked closely with Mattel to make sure that the doll captured her aunt’s iconic look.

“I did not hesitate at all. It was such an honor and so exciting,” Wong stated to AP in an email. “I wanted to make sure they got her facial features and clothing correct. And they did!”

The Inspiring Women series at Mattel “pays tribute to amazing heroines of their time,” according to their website. Other women honored include Maya Angelou, Jane Goodall, and Rosa Parks.

These new dolls are part of an effort from Mattel to create more inclusive dolls that represent everyone from different backgrounds. Recently, Mattel also launched a Barbie that represents a girl with Down syndrome as part of this campaign.

“Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves,” said Lisa McKnight, the Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel.

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