Naomi Osaka is growing up her Barbie collection! Mattel recently announced that the award-winning tennis player has a new collectible, and fans worldwide can have it as soon as right now! The Naomi Osaka Barbie Role Model is the toy company’s recent drop and features the athlete wearing a replica of the outfit she wore during the 2020 Australian Open.
Although the No. 1 tennis player in the world didn’t secure the match on that occasion, her blue-and-pink Nike tank top and white flared skort (skirt and shorts) made a statement. The doll also comes with a tennis racket, Nike sneakers, and a white visor.
“It‘s such an honor to be a part of the Barbie Role Model series, and to remind young girls that they can make a difference in the world,” Osaka said in a press release. “I want young girls everywhere to feel empowered to dream big and to know that if they believe in themselves that anything is possible!”
The Naomi Osaka Barbie Role Model isn’t the first time Osaka has become a Barbie. In 2019 she was part of the Barbie Shero collection, alongside other athletes and figures.
Osaka recently won as the best athlete in women’s sports at the annual ESPYS show honoring the year’s top athletes. The world’s highest-paid female athlete took the stage to thank the support and recognize how, so far, 2021 has been a challenging year for many, including her. “I just really want to not say a long speech because I’m a bit nervous,’’ Osaka said. “This year has been a really, it hasn’t even finished, but it’s been really tough for a lot of us. For me, I just want to say I really love you guys.’’
In June, we reported that the tennis star decided to put a hold on her sports career to take a mental health break. “Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players, and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris,” she said.
“I never wanted to be a distraction, and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly, I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly,” Osaka continued. “The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018, and I have had a really hard time coping with that.
“Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety. Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize, especially to all the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can.”