Mattel's Wilma Mankiller Barbie doll.

Chief Wilma Mankiller is the Latest Inspiring Women Barbie

Mattel has been upping the Barbie game in 2023. The latest addition to the “Inspiring Women Collection” will be the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller.

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It’s been a great year for Barbie fans. Besides the life-altering Barbie film, we’ve been seeing some fabulous new dolls. Earlier this year, Mattel released a Día de Muertos Barbie and Ken doll set. Right in time for Halloween, the company gave us a Stevie Nicks-themed doll that the witchy queen herself endorsed. Now, Mattel has announced that Native American activist Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller will be immortalized as a Barbie doll.

The Inspiring Women Collection from Mattel includes important women in history, such as Rosa Parks, Jane Goodall, and one of my personal favorites, Ida B. Wells. Mankiller is the perfect addition to such a historical lineup of figures. During her lifetime, Mankiller worked as a social worker and social activist. While working as a community developer, and later as chief, Mankiller helped the Cherokee Nation revitalize its land and help its people. The docudrama The Cherokee Word for Water (2013) highlights Mankiller’s work to bring water into rural parts of the community. She’s been honored with several doctorates and prestigious awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As an inspiration to indigenous people and women everywhere, Mankiller was also featured on the quarter coin in 2022.

According to Mattel, the doll was designed by Carlyle Nuera. Nuera “took inspiration from an iconic photo of Wilma to emulate the richly pigmented turquoise dress and woven basket she carries.” The doll’s blue dress also features a colorful ribbon detail that “represents the four directions: north, south, east, and west” to show Mankiller’s “commitment to all people throughout the world.”

Currently, you can pre-order the doll through the Mattel Creations website, Target, Walmart, or Amazon. The doll retails for $35.

(featured image: Mattel)

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D.R. Medlen
D.R. Medlen (she/her) is a pop culture staff writer at The Mary Sue. After finishing her BA in History, she finally pursued her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer in 2019. She expertly fangirls over Marvel, Star Wars, and historical fantasy novels (the spicier the better). When she's not writing or reading, she lives that hobbit-core life in California with her spouse, offspring, and animal familiars.