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Barbie praised for releasing first-ever doll with Down's syndrome

Barbie praised for releasing first-ever doll with Down's syndrome

2023 is Barbie's year, we're all just living in it

If ever you needed any more proof that 2023 is the year of Barbie and we're all just living in it, then look no further than the latest iteration of the doll to be released.

In a bid to make the popular toy range more diverse, Mattel have introduced the first ever Barbie with Down syndrome.

She joins other Barbies who have joined the toy range in recent years including a Barbie with a hearing aid, one with a prosthetic limb and another in a wheelchair.

Mattel have said they want 'all children to see themselves in Barbie' while also giving kids the chance to 'play with dolls who do not look like themselves'.

Their global head of Barbie and dolls (who knew such a job existed?), Lisa McKnight, said the new Barbie would help 'teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world'.

The new Barbie was developed by Mattel and the US National Down Syndrome Society.

Working with the US National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Mattel's created a doll with a shorter frame with a longer torso, a rounder face with smaller ears, a flatter nasal bridge and more almond-shaped eyes.

The Barbie's dress is yellow and blue, colours associated with awareness of Down syndrome, while she wears a necklace representing three copies of the 21st chromosome, which is associated with the syndrome.

She also has ankle foot orthotics as some children with Down syndrome support their feet and ankles with orthotics.

NDSS president Kandi Pickard said it was important to 'never underestimate the power of representation' and that it 'means so much for our community' that kids can play with a doll who looks like them.

She called it a 'huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating'.

Ellie Goldstein, a model and advocate for people with Down syndrome, said she was 'overwhelmed' after seeing the doll.

Model and advocate Ellie Goldstein praised the introduction of the new doll.

She said: "Diversity is important... as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away."

People have praised Mattel for releasing the Barbie with one person saying that the moment of 'goodness' from seeing the Down syndrome doll had reduced them to tears.

Someone else said their younger sister had Down syndrome and hearing about the introduction of the new Barbie 'makes me so happy'.

Others said 'this is why we stan Barbie yup' and that they loved Barbie 'being more inclusive with their doll options'.

Featured Image Credit: Mattel

Topics: Life