It's been several decades since the doll with a hundred careers – Barbie – first took to the skies as a pilot, but this career path might not have been possible without the contributions of real women aviators like Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman. Barbie Signature is furthering its pursuit to honor "courageous women who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before" with the release of the Barbie Inspiring Women Bessie Coleman Doll.
Coleman was born on Jan. 26, 1892 and earned her pilot license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale on June 15, 1921, despite having to contend with racial and gender discrimination. Coleman is the first Black and Native American woman to become an aviator. She's also the first Black person to earn an international pilot's license.
The Barbie Inspiring Women Bessie Coleman Doll ($35) is sculpted in the Atlanta, TX native's likeness using the Desiree/Adria face sculpt and has an Original Articulated body. It wears a traditional olive green aviator suit, white high-neck blouse, harness belt, "lace-up" knee-high boots, and an aviator cap with sculpted details, including the initials "BC" and an eagle, completes the look. You know Barbie still has to bring the fa-shion, and doll designer Carlyle Nuera didn't disappoint with the Bessie Coleman Doll, which is available for pre-order with shipping expected in April.
The box features an inspiration portrait of Coleman and the doll stands in front of a picture of two airplanes soaring over a field. The back of the box provides more information on Coleman, including a quote, "I made up my mind to try, I tried and was successful." It also explains why Mattel Creations believes the Inspiring Women series is necessary, "Girls need more role models like Bessie Coleman, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning. Actually seeing that they can be makes all the difference."