19 Nov – "To think that all those years ago as a child I played with my Barbie dolls, made them into little gymnasts, and had them perform skills and compete in my make-believe arena. To now have one that represents that little child's dream is incredible," said Malaysian artistic gymnast, Farah Ann Abdul Hadi.
The 26-year-old recently posted a series of photos on her Instagram, showing off a Barbie doll that was made in her likeness.
Calling it an "incredible honour", the gymnast shared that she was shocked when she was first contacted regarding making a 'one of a kind' Barbie doll that looked like her.
She wrote, "Being part of the Shero campaign and in conjunction with the Barbie's You Can Be Anything campaign which aims to inspire the limitless potential in every girl is such an amazing campaign and one that I truly champion and believe in.
"Every little girl's dreams should be nurtured and they should have, and be given the opportunity to achieve and work towards what they aspire to be."
"My belief that all girls should be able to pursue a career as an athlete and with Barbie's focus on inspiring girls to pursue their dreams in the field of sports. It is such an honor to be able to get this message across in hopes that the next generation of little girls aspire to dream and achieve greatness," she added.
Born on 3 May 1994 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, to Malaysian father Abdul Hadi Ahmad and Canadian-born mother Kimberly Ann Gagnon, Farah Ann started learning gymnastics at the age of three. Her professional gymnast career begun following her participation in Malaysia's Sukma Games.
She is currently only the third Malaysian gymnast to have qualified for the Olympics, aside from Au Li Yen (Sydney 2000) and Ng Shu Wai (Athens 2004), after finishing 59th out of 180 gymnasts in the qualifying session for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at last year's World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
To know more about Farah Ann's Barbie doll, fans and budding gymnasts can visit Barbie's Official Facebook or https://barbie.mattel.com/en-us/about/role-models.html.
(Photo source: Farah Ann's Instagram)