Mattel unveiled a new Down syndrome Barbie on Tuesday to help more children see themselves in the popular doll and to teach “inclusion through play.” Photo courtesy of Mattel
April 25 (UPI) — Barbie is adding a new Down syndrome doll to help more children see themselves in the popular doll and to teach “inclusion through play.”
mattel Announced adding Down syndrome to the Barbie lineup on Tuesday after working closely with the National Down Syndrome Society to make sure the doll’s sculpt, clothing, accessories and packaging were accurate.
“As the most diverse line of dolls on the market, Barbie plays an important role in a child’s early experiences, and we are dedicated to doing our part to counter social stigma through play,” said Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and chief executive officer. Barbie overall. and dolls, Mattel.
“Our goal is to allow all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls that don’t look like themselves,” McKnight said, adding that the new doll is a reflection of Mattel’s goal to “better reflect the world.” around us and promote our commitment to celebrate inclusion through play.”
Down syndrome remains the most common chromosome condition diagnosed in the United States, which occurs in about 1 in 700 babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Babies with Down syndrome are born with an extra copy of chromosome 21, which changes the way the baby’s body and brain develop, creating mental and physical challenges.
The new Barbie’s face is rounder with almond-shaped eyes that slant upwards, and the body is shorter with a longer torso. Her doll wears a dress pattern with butterflies in yellow and blue, which are associated with Down syndrome awareness.
Barbie also wears a pink necklace with three chevrons facing up, representing the three copies of chromosome 21.
And the doll wears pink ankle braces to match her outfit. NDSS has provided a box of orthotics to match the ones Barbie wears, as some children with Down syndrome wear orthotics to support their feet and ankles.
“It was an honor to work with Barbie on the Down Syndrome Barbie Doll,” said Kandi Pickard, NDSS President and CEO.
“This means a lot to our community, who for the first time can play with a Barbie doll that looks just like them. This Barbie serves as a reminder to never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment we are celebrating,” Pickard said.
The new Barbie with Down syndrome joins Mattel’s 2023 lineup of fashionistaswhich includes dolls with various body types, a doll with braces, a Barbie in a wheelchair and a Ken Fashionista doll with a prosthetic leg.
The Barbie Down Syndrome doll is now available online for $10.99 and will be available at major retailers starting this summer.