What Ava Duvernay’s Barbie Says to Every Black Girl

AvaIt’s Christmas morning. There’s wrapping paper strewn all over the floor, pancake aromas coming from the kitchen, and a little Black girl playing with her new barbie doll. Her mom has recently explained that the doll is a Black woman who uses movies to tell stories. This knowledge then opens the imagination of a child who starts directing her other toys and yelling “Cut!” from scenes in her pretend movie. For some little girls, owning a Black woman filmmaker doll tells her that if she too wants to make movies she absolutely can.

But before all of that Black girl magic is opened this Christmas, or Kwanzaa, it should be known that these barbies sold faster than Patti’s Pies and no one has even sung about it yet.

After it released on Monday, 15 minutes later, both Barbie and Duvernay tweeted that the #AvaBarbie was out of stock. Fans had a few minutes to grab it on Amazon, but it quickly sold out there as well. Twitter, in true fashion, wasted no time in its celebration of the #AvaBarbie. Women of all ages mentioned how they would be buying the barbie for a girl they knew or even for themselves.

Duvernay shared in the excitement and discussed the #AvaBarbie on her Twitter and in interviews. She told BuzzFeed News, “It’s pretty fantastic — particularly at this moment where the dearth of women filmmakers getting opportunity and access to make what they want is such a conversation, that I’m thrilled this particular profession is being amplified.”

Mattel originally made the doll for its special “Sheroes” collection earlier this year, and didn’t intend to sell the Barbie. Fans pushed the doll-making company produce to the #AvaBarbie commercially.

“I want more girls to be able to see themselves behind the camera creating images we all enjoy and I want to call attention to the fact that women directors are here all over the world,” Duvernay said. “When we say there’s a dearth of women directors, it’s not that there’s a lack of women who direct, it’s a lack of opportunities and access for women to direct and be supported in that. I hope that this can contribute to that conversation as well.”


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