Honored in books, films and murals, Irvington’s own Madam C.J. Walker has now been selected by toymaker Mattel to join the “Barbie’s Inspiring Women Series” alongside such exemplars of feminine fame and fortitude as Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Dr. Maya Angelou, Florence Nightingale, Susan B. Anthony and most recently Ida B. Wells and Dr. Jane Goodall. The series “pays tribute to incredible heroines of their time,” according to Mattel “—courageous women who took risks, changed rules, and paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before.”
Naturally, the honor brings with it a replica doll. Mattel describes the Barbie version of Madam Walker as “dressed in a floral printed blouse paired with a full-length turquoise skirt,” and “holding a miniature replica of her original Wonderful Hair Grower product.”
A’Lelia Bundles, Madam Walkers great-great granddaughter and an author of four books about her achievements as the first documented Black millionaire entrepreneur, collaborated with Mattel on the project. “It was a joy to work with Barbie on the design and creation of an Inspiring Women doll made in the likeness of my great-great grandmother,” she said.
The dolls, which are distinctly less ample than Madame Walker is portrayed in photographs, will be available on Amazon, and in Walmart and Target stores at a suggested retail price of $35.00.