Celebrity Barbie Dolls That Look Just Like The People They Are Modeled After

The most famous doll in the world has enjoyed a long legacy of conquering spotlights, hearts, and imaginations since her birth in 1959. Though originally meant as playthings for children, Barbie has taken on a life of her own and occupies significant space in the adult world today. Parallel to a burning discourse on Barbie's sociocultural impact on beauty sensibilities, the American toy company has continued to enlarge its business over the years, with an unrelenting focus on its sought-after line of dolls. By Mattel's own acknowledgment, in recent years the company has put the pedal to the metal vis-a-vis diversity and inclusivity to widen the scope of what Barbie looks like; there are over 30 skin tones, dolls from varied ethnicities, and representations of disability. 

Part of this movement at Mattel has also been to immortalize a host of celebrities from the world of entertainment and showbiz, celebrating their achievements and distinct identities. In fact, Time reported on how Mattel's decision to expand representation in their Barbie line contributed to jacking up sales for the multinational between 2016 and 2021. The Barbie conversation is buzzing, especially in light of Greta Gerwig's highly anticipated film featuring a multitude of Barbies. Here are some select best celebrity Barbie dolls that look just like the people they are modeled after. 

Tina Turner's Barbie absolutely rocks

Months before the world mourned the death of Tina Turner, Mattel had immortalized the music megastar through a signature Barbie doll released in 2022. The unveiling of the collectible coincided with the 40th anniversary of Turner's 1984 hit "What's Love Got to Do with It." The figurine bore an uncanny resemblance to the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, replicating her look from the video of the chart-topping number. Turner was as much a fashion icon as she was a music icon, with her wardrobe always making headlines parallel to her career. The denim jacket and leather skirt combo that Mattel dressed her Barbie in was, as WWD put it, "one of the fashion landmarks of the era" that marked Turner's smashing industry comeback in the '80s. 

Mattel also got Turner's defining mullet right, giving her doll a character as distinct as could be. As art and hair historian Rachael Gibson told Vogue, "You see that shaggy, supersized, spiky-but-soft shape, and it couldn't be anyone else." The tresses that so characterized Turner's public image were actually wigs, which the singer didn't just pride herself on but considered a part of her identity. As the brand often does, Mattel brought out the doll's legs — certainly in symbolic honor of Turner's legendary limbs. 

Zendaya's Barbie was inspired by the actor's 2015 Oscars look

Breaking its conformation to dolls that follow Eurocentric beauty standards, Mattel released a Barbie in 2015 that was the spitting image of Zendaya. The toy company glorified the film star in a way that was all kinds of empowering, dressing her figurine in the striking white dress and dreadlocks she wore to the Oscars that year. The doll's styling was interpreted as a statement in support of the actor, especially in light of the controversy surrounding her appearance that drew a racist remark from journalist Giuliana Rancic. "My wearing my hair in locs on an Oscar red carpet was to showcase them in a positive light, to remind people of color that our hair is good enough," Zendaya said in an open letter responding to the criticism at the time. 

Against that context, Mattel's Zendaya Barbie release later that year made an impactful affirmation of the star's identity. "She's a role model who is focused on standing up for yourself, your culture, and for what you believe in — that's very relevant for girls," a spokesperson for the brand told Today. The "Dune" actor exalted Mattel for its diversification attempt and, sharing a side-by-side comparison of her Oscars look and her doll, wrote on social media, "When I was little I couldn't find a Barbie that looked like me, my ... how times have changed." As expressed to Vogue, Zendaya was particularly impressed with Mattel's replication of her hair. "[O]bviously the hair was so important," she said.

There are three Grace Kelly Barbies

Princess, actor, icon: Grace Kelly was all that and more. It would've been hard for Mattel to think of someone more deserving than her to dedicate not one, but three Barbies to. The screen star was immortalized in doll form decades after her death in 1982, molded into a triad featuring her most iconic fashion moments. Two of these looks showed Kelly in character from her Alfred Hitchcock films "To Catch a Thief" and "Rear Window" — the former replicating her powder blue gown and the latter reproducing her monochromatic chiffon dress. 

The third Barbie commemorated Kelly in her brilliant wedding dress from when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco, an event that coincided with the end of her illustrious film career. Her wedding gown, now on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was the work of costume designer Helen Rose and was figuratively Kelly's conclusive collaboration with Hollywood. From pearls to lace and other accessories, Mattel cloned Kelly's looks down to the smallest details with its exclusive collector's item dolls, which were true to life in more ways than one. In keeping with Kelly's legacy of philanthropic work, a share of the sales from these Barbies was reported to have been directed to the Princess Grace Foundation, per British Vogue

Donatella Versace helped create a Claudia Schiffer Barbie

Claudia Schiffer comes as close as one could to being a real-life Barbie. At the height of her supermodel era in the 1990s, Schiffer was one of the most sought-after names in fashion and showbiz. From Chanel to Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, the blonde bombshell was associated with the biggest brands in the industry, casting a spell over audiences with her doll-like appearance. So it was only a matter of time before she was given shape as Mattel's star toy. To mark the model's 50th birthday in 2020, Mattel released a special Barbie with the likeness of Schiffer in the ethereal blue Versace gown she wore back in 1994 on the runway. 

Donatella Versace, who collaborated with Mattel on the production, gushed about the significance of the product. "Claudia and Barbie are two strong women who do not need to be empowered by anyone, because they have always been the makers of their destiny," she said, per the Barbie Style Instagram account. A second custom doll, also released to mark the same occasion, depicted Schiffer in a black netted Balmain dress, which the supermodel matched while giving the figurines her stamp of approval in an Instagram video. In fact, the supermodel's social media showcases a Barbie extravaganza amid promotions for Greta Gerwig's 2023 film of the same name. On at least two recent occasions pointed out by Schiffer, the film's lead Margot Robbie wore classic designer outfits that Schiffer originally made famous in her heyday. 

Elton John picked out just the right sunglasses for his Barbie

No, this Barbie does not look exactly like Elton John, but it certainly channels his essence. The doll, whose making involved the industry-revolutionizing musician himself, reproduced his vibrant public persona and flashy wardrobe — including his iconic tinted frames. "I have always loved and embraced fashion as a means of self-expression," John told People on the occasion of his Barbie's release, going on to gush about the toy's cultural impact. While designing the statuette, the "Rocket Man" hitmaker said his signature sunglasses were given prime importance: "I took inspiration from all of my favorite pairs I have worn over the years, and envisioned a Barbie pink with a bit of my flair. I think we nailed the final look." We think so, too.

The doll, which was released in 2020, managed to capture the glam and glitter John's career and image are defined by, with personalized embellishments and abundant golden locks. Mattel said the product "personifies two cultural icons and honors the extraordinary artistry and musicianship of a stellar performer." From his star-spangled outfits to bold gender-bending styles laden with accessories, John's sartorial legacy is nearly as huge as his musical impact. "I loved my success in the early days and I loved dressing up and I loved clothes," he told Vogue while revisiting some of his greatest fashion moments. "Rocketman" costume designer Julian Day wasn't kidding when he told Entertainment Weekly that John is "pretty much the most flamboyant rock star that has ever lived."

Ashley Graham made sure her Barbie was body positive

Over the past few years, Mattel has worked with a visible effort to reverse its disputed legacy of crafting toys that feed into restrictive beauty standards. In a move that expanded representation, the company released a Barbie that had an uncanny resemblance to model Ashley Graham in 2016. Pictured on the doll was a stunning denim jacket and shimmer dress combo Graham once wore — but that wasn't the most incredible bit about the collectible. Graham's Barbie came with lifelike thighs that — in a break from the toy's usual skinny form — were shown to be touching. "It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible. The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it's OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a 'thigh gap' is more beautiful," she told The Hollywood Reporter

Mattel's stereotype-breaking doll came following the brand's decision to formally diversify body types and skin colors that define its flagship product, according to Barbie Media. "Ashley Graham is a trailblazer who inspires every woman — and girl — to see the beauty in herself," Lisa McKnight, Barbie's General Manager, remarked on the occasion. Graham, a body positivity champion, introduced her doll to the world at Glamour's Women of the Year Summit 2016 and couldn't stop raving about the toy's "round belly" and "round hips." The figurine brought Graham into the fold of Barbie's "Shero" line that aims at honoring change-making women. 

Ava DuVernay's Barbie even has a director's chair

Growing up, Ava DuVernay loved playing with Barbies. Never in her wildest imagination could the history-making director have thought that one day, she would have a Barbie modeled after her adult self — complete with a director's chair. In 2015, a year after DuVernay's pioneering Oscar nomination for "Selma," Mattel honored the filmmaker by creating an exclusive doll in her likeness. As DuVernay said in Vanity Fair, "She's a flat-footed Barbie in jeans, sitting in her chair, waiting to call action." The figurine was manufactured as part of Mattel's "Sheroes" range, though the doll's online acclaim pushed the brand to release the doll for the masses. The popularity of the collectible was such that it reportedly sold out within minutes of being listed. 

"I love this because maybe some little girls or boys will be playing with a Black woman director," DuVernay told Vanity Fair, emphasizing on the importance of diversity. "Being able to hold the representation of another person in your hands and tell stories through their eyes is a big part of the conversation." In fact, for DuVernay, Barbie dolls weren't simply playthings during her childhood. They presented an early outlet for her creative interest in storytelling, she told USA Today. The award-winning director recalled how she personalized her Barbies, experimenting with their hair and makeup. It was nothing short of a full circle moment then, with DuVernay getting a personalized Barbie that has braided hair, a set-ready outfit, and über-cool sneakers. 

Margot Robbie's Barbies match the movie perfectly

As the ultimate Barbie of the moment, Margot Robbie is the current undefeated champion in Mattel's fantasy world. The lead of Greta Gerwig's 2023 feature film "Barbie," Robbie has been living in character as a life-sized doll, recreating some classic Barbie looks as well as inspiring many new ones. In the midst of the film's promotional maelstrom, the toy brand launched a bunch of official Barbies dedicated to the lead cast, with some delightful ones dedicated to Robbie. In a first-look video on Instagram, Robbie shows off a Barbie in a pink gingham dress just like the one she wears in the film. She points out that the brand had been meticulous with the smallest of details, including the shoes and jewelry. Actors Issa Rae and America Ferrera also got their own figurines. 

A second doll with Robbie's likeness reproduced her Barbiecore-meets-Western outfit from the film — complete with an identical cowboy hat. "So brilliantly replicating the exact look in the movie. I love it!" Robbie affirmed. Sweeping fans further up into the excitement surrounding the film, Robbie has committed herself to a Barbie-inspired wardrobe for all public appearances relating to the project. From bringing to life the Pink & Fabulous Barbie's polka-dotted dress from 2015 to throwing it all the way back to 1960 with Solo in the Spotlight Barbie's shimmery black gown, Robbie is going all out with the revival of vintage Barbie magic sprinkled with a modern twist — and we can't get enough.

Farrah Fawcett's Barbie struck an iconic pose

It was that red swimsuit, those juicy golden curls, and her megawatt smile that helped turn Farrah Fawcett into an international darling in the late 1970s. The poster, which was released in 1976, became one of the most defining pop culture images from the 20th century. Naturally, Mattel used it as a reference for creating a commemorative Barbie for Fawcett. Launched in 2011, the doll was designed to sit in the exact same pose Fawcett struck for photographer Bruce McBroom, and even featured minuscule details like her golden neckpiece. 

A $1,500-worth prototype of the Farrah Fawcett Barbie went up for sale in 2010 months before the doll's official release and, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, went out of stock within merely 20 minutes. The formal launch of the Farrah Fawcett Barbie in 2011 witnessed similar success, with the collectible item priced in the range of $35 being claimed in huge numbers by fans. A percentage of the doll sales was funneled into a namesake organization committed to cancer research and treatments started by the "Charlie's Angels" star, whose own death in 2009 came about as a result of the disease. "This doll is now available to her fans so she'd be very pleased about that, and very pleased that it's helping the foundation," Alana Stewart, a friend of the late star, told Fox News at the time.

Prince William and Princess Catherine's big day Barbies

It was the biggest royal wedding of the decade — of course, it had to be memorialized through Barbies. In 2012, Mattel released a pair toy set featuring Prince William and Princess Catherine in their wedding fineries that had taken the world by storm a year prior. Attention to detail wasn't spared, with William's doll featuring military decorations on his Irish Guards uniform, and a flower bouquet and tiara complementing Catherine's white wedding dress. The collector item was released to mark the royal couple's first wedding anniversary and, according to Glamour, was priced upward of $150. The toy set predictably made headlines, though not all fans were impressed with the extravagantly made-up details on Barbie Catherine's face. 

The folks over at The Barbie Collection took things up a notch by reproducing certain momentous scenes from William and Catherine's 2011 wedding, including their walk down the red carpet and the ornate wedding carriage they rode in. This wonderful tribute to the British royals from the American multinational was intertwined with charity purposes, with a small share of every sale reportedly going towards the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) which is committed to saving lives at sea. Even beyond Mattel's symbolic gesture, the Princess of Wales has often proved she is Barbie personified, with her luscious locks and immaculate wardrobe that has a generous smattering of Barbie pinks and reds. 

Both of Jennifer Lopez's Barbies bring the glitz and glam

In 2013, the world was blessed twice over with a pair of Barbies bearing the likeness of Jennifer Lopez. Mattel honored the ageless singer/dancer/actor by molding her into two Barbies — one of them featuring J.Lo in a sheer bodysuit she wore during her "Dance Again" tour, and the other recalling her white gown from the 2012 Academy Awards. Incidentally, both the outfits Mattel chose for its J.Lo Barbies were designs by Zuhair Murad, a longtime collaborator of the Latina icon he considers his muse. "I love her curves and I love her attitude and the way she walks out in a dress," the Lebanese designer told The Hollywood Reporter, naming Lopez as the artist he enjoys working with the most. 

In fact, Lopez's Oscars dress immortalized by Mattel is one of Murad's personal favorite creations. "From the first sketch I did and sent her, she fell in love," he revealed to WWD. The figure-hugging piece really brought out J.Lo's iconic curves, a design choice that is among Murad's signatures. While Mattel made a fair attempt to replicate some of Lopez's physical attributes (such as her hair), it surprisingly forewent the singer's famous shapely frame, instead giving her a stock tall and skinny Barbie figure. Even as there was some online backlash over the omission of her real body, Lopez seemed to be pleased with the dolls: "I wanted to live in Barbie's world. I wanted to be Barbie," ET Online quoted her as saying. 

James Dean's Barbie is one cool rebel

James Dean, the original rebel of Hollywood, was only three lead roles old when he died at the young age of 24 in 1955. In the five years that he was active as an actor, Dean carved out such a legacy that gave him a status of cultural import that couldn't be rivaled. Dean's epochal red bomber jacket and denim ensemble from "Rebel Without a Cause" became such a symbol of 20th-century youthfulness that one could argue Mattel's line of celebrity toys would have remained forever incomplete if they missed replicating it. So in 2001, the toy company did the only logical thing and produced a doll in the image of the late influential star, tagging Dean as an American Legend. The collector's item was every bit the image of a downsized Jim Stark, right from his recognizable wardrobe down to Dean's cool stance and inscrutable expression. 

Dean burst onto the big screen after a peripheral stint on television, quickly climbing the charts to attain mass popularity as the fresh new face of the 1950s youth grappling with angst and disillusionment. He exuded an aura that was and is relatable. "Perhaps it is a certain androgyny which Dean evokes that makes him so modern, so palpable, so timeless," filmmaker Gail Levin, who directed a documentary about Dean's life, explained on PBS. The young star's untimely death in an accident only inflated his distinct legacy, which Mattel claimed to have reproduced in his "true-to-life" doll.