Ava DuVernay on Barbie Doll: "Everyone Should Be Able to See Themselves"
"That's what I'm hoping this does: Changes the view of who we think a director can be, changes the view of who we think a Barbie should look like."
Ava DuVernay's limited-edition Barbie doll sold out in an hour yesterday, but the director was still celebrating having a doll made in her likeness on Tuesday's Good Morning America, calling in to the morning show's "Pop News" segment to talk about it.
The Selma filmmaker said that while she was a "big Barbie girl growing up," none of the ones she had "looked like me."
"So with the opportunity to create a doll who had brown skin and natural hair and was directing her own movie, that was an incredible opportunity, so I went for it," DuVernay said of why she helped design a doll that looked like her.
She explained that she particularly appreciated the doll's hair and director's chair.
"The natural hairstyle was very important to me. I think that's something that should be celebrated — the differences in all of us. With so much rhetoric about collapsing who we are, it's about expansion and celebrating everyone," DuVernay said. "And then the chair was my favorite thing, because it took me a long time to earn that chair. So I wanted every girl and boy to have one."
Ultimately, DuVernay said she hoped the doll would inspire people accept different images.
"Everyone should be able to see themselves. That's really what my point is in doing this. Images and balance in storytelling, our imagination, is something that should be embraced and widened and expanded," she said. "So that's what I'm hoping this does: Changes the view of who we think a director can be, changes the view of who we think a Barbie should look like."
Unfortunately, if you didn't grab one of DuVernay's dolls yesterday, you might not be able to see yourself in her Barbie, with the director saying she doesn't think more will be made available.
"It was always supposed to be a limited run. It was only supposed to be one doll, and it was by popular demand that it was expanded. So it was a short-term celebration, but a good thing," she said.
On Twitter Monday night, DuVernay also thanked those who supported the doll.
Thx to all who celebrated black girls, women filmmakers, natural hair + a good tennis shoe via this doll. Happy. xo! https://t.co/4U5KOhrinL— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) December 8, 2015