When I was a kid, finding a movie character or doll that looked like me—or half of the people I knew—felt like taking a trek through the space-time continuum. Images and icons that looked like me either seemed to have existed in the ancient world or surely somewhere in the far-distant future.
Well, that day is finally here: A Wrinkle in Time, Disney’s upcoming film based on the classic children’s novel by Madeleine L’Engle and brought to the screen by director Ava DuVernay, is, by all accounts of those who’ve seen it—not coming to play. That is, unless you want a Barbie.
Yes! We now (finally!) have an Oprah Barbie, albeit in character as Mrs. Which, embellished with a bejeweled set of brows resembling traditional gold West African scarification markings, and a platinum blond hairdo worthy of Mary J. Blige. I only wish the doll were curvier, instead of looking like she’s been sticking to a Weight Watchers regimen even better than Oprah herself (who’s a spokesperson and investor in the brand). Mattel has had so much success lately with plus-size and real-body-type Barbies, I don’t know why the toy-maker didn’t continue the trend here?
Mindy Kaling’s Mrs. Who—also a skinny-version doll—is letting us have it on the Asian beauty tip with Mehndi henna-tattooed arms, which in Indian culture signify everything from marital status to religious beliefs. Her look is topped off by a beehive-basket-braid hairstyle—I’m counting the days before I see those braids come to life on the streets of Washington, D.C., and New Delhi.
Asked by The Glow Up about his favorite aspect of crafting these new dolls, Barbie’s senior design director, Robert Best, said: “I was so excited to get [to] make an Oprah Barbie. I want her to run for president!”
While Oprah isn’t running, Best hit a more serious note about the dolls’ impact, saying:
We’re all about inclusivity here. I don’t really like the term “diversity” because it implies that you are “other than” rather than “part of.” We have proof from our customer data and retailers that when you put dolls in kids’ hands that represent their “sheroes” and role models, it works.
Reese Witherspoon’s Mrs. Whatsit Barbie rounds out the trio of dolls, which are fashioned after the characters in the movie who guide 13-year-old heroine, Meg Murray, played by the stunning Storm Reid, through wormholes in time in a quest to find her father. As of press time, we haven’t seen a doll based on Storm Reid yet. But you know The Glow Up will be here when her Barbie is ready to come out and play!