Mattel Adds New Inclusive Dolls Like Barbie With Hearing Aids, Ken With Vitiligo
By Mikelle Leow, 13 May 2022
Image via Barbie
The name Barbie has grown to represent a whole spectrum of identities, body types, and skin tones. It includes a doll in a wheelchair, one that’s bald, and even one that’s literally been to space, to name just a few.
Mattel is expanding the Barbie family in hopes that more children will find a figure they resonate with. Soon joining the diverse Fashionistas line are a Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a Ken doll with the vitiligo skin condition, and a doll with a prosthetic leg.
For an accurate representation of individuals who wear hearing aids, Mattel consulted Dr Jen Richardson, an educational audiologist who’s been studying hearing loss and promoting awareness for 18 years, to help design the new doll.
In a statement, Dr Richardson says she’s excited about the possibility of her young patients playing with a Barbie “who looks like them.”
The 2022 rollout also acknowledges various body types, such as dolls with curvier shapes and smaller busts. They will head to stores, including Amazon, Target, and Walmart beginning June for US$9.99.
“Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them,” details Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel.
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