We Heart: Zendaya’s Beautiful Faux-Locked Barbie

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 5.04.27 PMIn an homage to the actor’s stunning Oscars look, Mattel is bestowing Disney star Zendaya with her own limited-edition Barbie.

Considering this is the same look Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic saw fit to criticize, it’s thrilling to see Mattel take the opportunity to show that all hairstyles are beautiful.

When Zendaya walked the red carpet at the Oscars in February, she turned heads in an ivory Vivienne Westwood gown topped off with flowing locs. Rancic joked that the star’s hair probably smelled like “patchouli and weed,” which led Zendaya to defend her hair on her Twitter, setting off a social media firestorm.

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The exchange ignited a lot of needed conversations about locs and how the ethnic style is overly scrutinized in white society. It also turned Zendaya into a symbol of Black hair acceptance.

As the manufacturer of Barbie dolls, Mattel has a big impact of what young girls grow up seeing as “beautiful.” To say someone “looked like a Barbie” used to mean they were willowy and tan with blonde hair and blue eyes. Now, looking like a Barbie can mean so many other things. Zendaya’s biracial doll is only the latest in what has been a long string of Barbie dolls that are more racially inclusive. Just last June, Mattel released a line of 23 dolls with varying skin tones, eye colors and hair types.

Zendaya was overjoyed about having her own Barbie, writing on her Instagram:

When I was little I couldn’t find a Barbie that looked like me, my…how times have changed. Thank you @barbie for this honor and for allowing me to be apart of your diversification and expansion of the definition of beauty.

Thank to celebs like Zendaya speaking out on behalf of women and girls of color, the little plastic doll is getting a lot more real!

Photos taken from Zendaya’s social media accounts


Associate editor of Ms. magazine