Scripps News Life


Barbie honors actor Anna May Wong with Inspiring Women doll

Barbie honors actor Anna May Wong with Inspiring Women doll
Posted at 8:55 AM, May 02, 2023

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Mattel is adding a new Barbie to their Inspiring Women Series collection, this time to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The latest Barbie to join the lineup is actor Anna May Wong, who is considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star. The first Asian-American to lead a U.S. television show, Wong starred in “The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong” in 1951, has more than 60 movie credits to her name and even founded her own production company.

Barbie worked with Anna May Wong’s niece, Anna Wong, to create the doll, which is the first Asian American doll in the Barbie Inspiring Women series. The doll has bangs and smoky eye shadow. A Mattel representative tells Simplemost her dress is inspired by the dragon dress Wong wore in the 1934 film “Limehouse Blues.”

You can purchase the doll on Mattel’s website for $35 (though it is currently sold out) and it will soon be available through Amazon, Target and Walmart. In honor of Wong, Barbie will also be donating $25,000 to Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development, a nonprofit organization that supports low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth.


The Inspiring Women Series pays tribute to historical and present-day female role models, from Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou to Ida B. Wells, Helen Keller and Jane Goodall.

Before Wong’s doll, the most recent doll released was Bessie Coleman, the first Black and Native American female aviator. Available now from Amazon and the Mattel Shop, the Coleman doll is wearing a green aviator suit and tall lace-up boots, just like what she would have worn when flying.

Barbie's Bessie Coleman doll

Mattel also recently released the first-ever Barbie doll with Down syndrome, which was created with help from the National Down Syndrome Society.

To ensure the doll is “more illustrative of women with Down syndrome,” it has a shorter frame and longer torso than other Barbie dolls. It also features a rounder face, smaller ears, a flat nasal bridge and “slightly slanted” almond-shaped eyes, according to Mattel.


Will you be adding the Anna May Wong doll to your collection?

This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Check out Simplemost for additional stories.