South African Artist Lira Becomes First African Woman To Be Honoured With A Lookalike Barbie Doll



South African artist, Lira, is the first African to be honoured with a Barbie doll in her likeness as part of Barbie's 60th anniversary Shero campaign, which started in 2015.

The news of this African first was announced on Tuesday, 6th August. 

The Shero campaign celebrates role models who inspire young girls to be all they can be, breaking boundaries to fulfil their dreams. Since 2015, toys brand behind Barbie, Mattel, has created 50 lookalike dolls honouring diverse women they acknowledge as inspirational role models for children.

In a radio interview with Jacaranda FM, the songstress expressed that when she was first approached by Mattel, she was a bit worried about how they would represent her natural hair. "Truly my concern was always my hair. You think to yourself, you've got short hair. Barbies have long flowing hair, and so how's that going to work," she added. 

She also took to Instagram to express her gratitude;

I’m deeply honoured to be Barbie’s first African role model and am excited to align with brand that is on a mission to show girls more diverse role models. I have always been someone who endeavours the celebration of my skin tone and natural hair, and it is amazing to see this reflected in my doll which I hope will inspire girls across the African continent. This is an enormous gesture and affirmation that the world is celebrating Africa for who we are.

Lira is a talented successful South African artist and businesswoman, whose work speaks for itself. She is one of those who are true to who they are. Her music is timeless and continues to strive for greater heights. 



Her doll is now part of the “Shero” line of dolls named after inspirational contemporary women. 
She joins a group of inspirational women such as renowned American filmmaker Ava DuVaney and American Mathematician Katherine Johnson, a pioneer in mathematics who broke barriers of race and gender. One of the characters in the hit movie Hidden Figures, who were previously immortalised with a Barbie doll as part of Barbie's Inspiring Women Series.  

Representation will always be a thing of beauty, hence initiatives that strive to change the status quo, through normalising diversity, in this case, making dolls in a real woman’s likeness, are refreshing because they play an important role in addressing socio-cultural issues like beauty. You cannot be what you don't see. Young Black girls seeing themselves in the reflection successful Black women such as Lira, who actually look like them is necessary, not to mention powerful. 


The Lira doll is yet to hit the stores for sale. 

 Conjabulations, Lira. 
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