'When I was little, I didn't have [a Barbie] that looked like me.'
Barbie has become synonymous with bright blue eyes and long blond hair.
That's why a Barbie doll that emulates anything other than a statuesque blue-eyed, blonde-haired model isn't just cool — it's important. Because every kid should be able to play with a doll that looks like them.
That's where actress and singer Zendaya comes in.
Earlier this month, it was announced the Disney star — who's built an impressive singing, acting, and modeling resume all by the age of just 19 — would be partnering with Mattel to create a Zendaya Barbie doll.
And on Sept. 26, 2015, Zendaya's doll debuted on Instagram...
...and strutted the red carpet with the star at the Barbie Rock 'n Royals Concert Experience in Los Angeles.
And the doll is badass.
Black- and darker-skinned Barbies have been around for a while, but the Zendaya doll's whole look is especially notable.
Not only does it help diversify what it means to be a Barbie doll, but it's modeled after Zendaya's look at the 2015 Academy Awards. It's rocking a floor-length gown by Vivienne Westwood and even has her beautiful dreads.
If the ensemble looks familiar, it's probably because it made waves during E! News' red carpet coverage, when "Fashion Police" host Giuliana Rancic had said Zendaya must have smelled like "patchouli" and "weed" while sporting the dreads.
The statement wasn't just unkind — it perpetuated racially charged and offensive stereotypes about being young and black.
Although Giuliana offered a heartfelt apology after Zendaya responded to the remarks on Instagram, the new Zendaya Barbie doll is symbolic of one person's harmful wrong being turned into an awesome right.
Nicki Minaj was one celebrity applauding the doll on Twitter:
Although Barbie still has a long way to go, Mattel is making a big statement by debuting Zendaya's Barbie.
"When I was little, I didn't have [a Barbie] that looked like me, so I couldn't connect with her in that way," Zendaya told Yahoo. "But getting to visit the Mattel offices and see Barbie's vision for the future… it was really cool. I was able to see how they plan to diversify, broadening the horizons and the image of Barbie, and make it more, you know, open. I left the office feeling it was definitely something I wanted to be a part of."