By: ShaCamree Gowdy
Naomi Osaka has proven herself to be a fan favorite, even in plastic form.
Mattel announced on Monday that they would be releasing a Barbie doll in honor of the 23-year-old tennis star. It hit the website Tuesday morning and sold out within hours “due to high demand.”
The doll is part of Mattel’s Dream Gap Project, which is, per their website, a long-running global campaign that introduces girls to women’s experiences from various walks of life. This demonstrates to girls they can be anything.
“Barbie is committed to shining a light on empowering role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls,” the company said.
According to a tweet from Osaka, the doll has been in the works for some time and even sports her complete Nike outfit from the 2020 Australian open.
Fun fact : (the doll is wearing my outfit from the 2020 Australian Open lol) pic.twitter.com/DlL98lNfQj
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) July 12, 2021
“I hope every child is reminded you can be and do anything,” she added in the tweet.
Osaka, a four-time grand slam champion and the first Asian player to hold the No. 1 ranking, is the world’s highest earning female athlete. She also serves as a dedicated humanitarian who puts nothing and no one above her mental health.
She made news in late May when she pulled out of the French Open, citing “huge waves of anxiety” and “long bouts of depression” since winning her first major championship in 2018, per Washington Post’s Fred Bowen. Her tennis comeback is slated to happen in Tokyo, where the Olympics will kick off on July 23.
Actress and model Yara Shahidi, gymnast Gabby Douglas and principal ballerina Misty Copeland are among other big names who also have a doll made in their likeness.