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The latest addition to the Barbie Inspiring Women line has us cheering. Available today, the Helen Keller Inspiring Woman Barbie is yet another impressive move forward for the doll brand also known known for impossible hourglass figures and opulent dream houses.
The Helen Keller Barbie was created in collaboration with the National Federation for the Blind, a membership and advocacy organization for blind Americans. The doll and her accessories were painstakingly recreated not only to be true to Keller’s time period but to also make her more accessible for blind people. The box features braille lettering, and the book the doll is holding has molded braille lettering on its cover.
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Launched in 2018 on International Women’s Day, the Inspiring Women line currently has nine dolls, including Keller — Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale, Billie Jean King, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sally Ride, and Susan B. Anthony.
Despite the persistent and ridiculous Gen Z myth that Helen Keller did not actually exist, she was in fact a real person who was born in Alabama in 1880. Helen lost her sight and hearing at the age of 18 months due to illness. With the help of her tutor and friend Anne Sullivan, Keller learned to read and write and went on to become the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree. Not only did she earn her degree, but she graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College at Harvard University. She went on to become a staunch disability rights activist as well as a noted lecturer and author.
Keller hobnobbed with the rich and famous of her time, including Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charlie Chaplin and met a number of U.S. presidents including Grover Cleveland and Lyndon B. Johnson.
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