Laurie Hernandez Has Just The Heartwarming Inspo Your IG Needs

Bustle

Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez sprung into our hearts during the 2016 Summer Games. But her influence and appeal has spread far beyond the podium, as she inspires women and young girls to speak up, achieve their dreams, and to simply have fun. That’s why she’s included in this special edition of Bustle’s Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Latinx voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Describe yourself in one line, including how you identify and what you do.

“I identify as Puerto Rican, and I am an Olympic gold medalist for gymnastics!”

What do you hope people take away from following you on social media?

“Spread kindness and be real! Love who you are.”

When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Latinx community?

“After the Olympic Games is when I noticed that people were watching what I did and that a younger generation of Latinx girls and boys were looking up to me. With projects like my Barbie with Mattel and my Ob.sess clothing line, I hope to inspire others to embrace who they are and go after their wildest dreams.”

Who’s another Latinx person you would recommend to follow on social media?

“I have three! Lin-Manuel Miranda is incredible, especially on Twitter. He posts motivational tweets that make the days a bit brighter. Gina Rodriguez also posts #MovementMondays, which talk about different celebrities helping to create change! Lastly, America Ferrera, because she’s so positive! I’m inspired by these three role models.”

Follow Laurie Hernandez on Instagram, @lauriehernandez_.

Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez Is Getting Her Very Own Barbie

Huffington Post

Calling all Laurie Hernandez fans: You will soon be able to buy a Barbie doll made in her likeness.

Barbie is creating a doll that looks like the Olympic gymnast for Mattel’s “Shero” line, which includes dolls in the likenesses of director Ava DuVernay, dancer Misty Copeland and fellow Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad. Hernandez’s Barbie is fully posable (so everyone can do gymnastics with her) and comes with two leotards and a gym bag.

“Girls need more role models like Laurie, because imagining they can be anything is just the beginning, and seeing that they can makes all the difference,” a spokesperson for Mattel told HuffPost.

Hernandez, 18, told HuffPost she is honored to have her very own Barbie and to be in the company of such amazing women.

“I was so excited to know that I would have a Barbie that looks like me,” she told HuffPost.

“It’s such an honor knowing that I’m a Barbie Shero along with many other incredible women like Misty Copeland and Ashley Graham,” Hernandez continued. “I am so excited that kids are going to be able to grow up with people that I looked up to as well, and hopefully they can see me as an inspiration too.”

Hernandez competed on the U.S. women’s gymnastics team during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where she won gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam. At just 16 years old, Hernandez became the third Latina in history to make the women’s Olympic gymnastics team, and the first U.S.-born Latina to make the team since 1984.

Aside from ensuring that the doll looked like her, Hernandez said the most important detail of the design process was her Barbie’s curly hair.

“I remember always wanting to straighten my hair as a kid, but now that I’m older I’m embracing these curls. I love how crazy and messy they are,” she said. “Now that there’s a doll that has my curls, little girls out there with curls are going to look at her too and be able to say ‘Wow she looks like me’ and find comfort in that.”

Hernandez added that she’s on “cloud nine” knowing that she’s in the company of trailblazing women like Douglas, Copeland and Muhammad.  

“I think that all of these women are big catalysts for the younger generation to watch and see how they do things and to know that we’re all so different,” she said. “I definitely see it as a responsibility as well. I recognize that I do have a platform and that people are watching what I do and I can use that for good.”

The doll will be available to buy at Walmarts around the country for $29.88 starting this month. Scroll below to see more photos of Hernandez’s Barbie Shero doll.