Tennis star Billie Jean King has been immortalized as a Barbie in Mattel’s Inspiring Women series.
Alongside King in the series, which began in 2018, are pilot Amelia Earhart, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, artist Frida Kahlo, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and astronaut Sally Ride.
“[Girls] can dream, they can imagine when they have their Barbie,” said King, according to Newsweek. “Hopefully [the series] helps them to think about all the possibilities in their life—that they can be anything they want to be and that it’ll help them decide how to define their lives and not be defined by others. So I think it’s fantastic.”
Mattel’s line focuses on several inspirational women throughout history in hopes of giving the next generation hope and excitement for their future.
While most were excited about the announcement of King’s Barbie, some questioned the endorsement of the pro-abortion advocate.
In a 2018 video interview with Markers, the tennis star shared her abortion story saying, “the reason I had an abortion is because I was not in a good place. I was just finding out about my sexuality, I was trying to figure my life out, I was trying to get the tour started, I just did not want to bring a baby into the world.”
The openly lesbian tennis star continued, “I did not want the child to be born under the circumstances I was in. I did not think it was right for the child.”
King’s doll features the outfit she wore during the 1973 Battle of the Sexes exhibition match against Bobby Riggs. Both accomplished tennis players, Riggs and King faced off to prove who was better: men or women.
King ultimately won the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 and received $100,000.
In recent years, Mattel has sought to diversify its doll’s offerings. As Christian Headlines previously reported, in September Mattel launched gender-neutral dolls under the marketing tagline, “All Welcome.”
Photo courtesy: ©Mattel/Billie Jean King Facebook
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.