Barbie announced in April the creation of a “Sheroes” collection, honoring female heroes who are breaking barriers and taking names for girls and women everywhere. Among the honorees who would have a one-of-a-kind doll created in her likeness was beloved “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, who, on Sunday, announced the #AvaBarbie would go on sale Monday thanks to her fans.

According to DuVernay, her proceeds for the doll will be given to ColorofChange.org and Witness.org, organizations that aim to elevate the political voices of Black America and aid activists around the world fight for humans rights, respectively.

But beyond charity, the Ava Barbie is also breaking ground in terms of representation.

In May, when Ava D. met Ava B. at ARRAY, the independent film distribution and resource collective DuVernay founded in 2010, the director explained this as being why she became involved in the Sheroes project.

“The goal of this was just to show girls of all kinds that there are other jobs beyond the ones that they tell us,” she said.

Her statement is especially poignant at a moment when Hollywood’s lack of diversity has been at the front of national conversations. During her historic acceptance speech at the Emmy’s in September, “How To Get Away With Murder” actress Viola Davis stated the problem plainly, “The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.”

In the absence of roles written for women of color, we are denied the opportunities to be recognized for our excellence. But in the absence of our representation in a variety of roles, we are denied the affirmation that we exist beyond the strict boundaries society has confined us, which sometimes includes our erasure.

Dolls like the Ava Barbie remind black girls everywhere that we exist, and that we can play with every possibility we imagine we can be, including an award-winning director.

What better gift to give for the holidays?

 

Photo credit: Twitter