Barbie is releasing its first-ever doll with Down syndrome, Mattel, Inc. announced Tuesday.
According to Mattel, the new Barbie doll will allow more children to see themselves in Barbie. A child with Down syndrome can walk up to a store shelf and say, “Mommy, Daddy, that’s me!” Mattel says this new doll is meant to inspire children to tell more stories through play.
“Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves. Doll play outside of a child’s own lived experience can teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world,” said Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel. “We are proud to introduce a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to better reflect the world around us and further our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play.”
Mattel and Barbie worked alongside the National Down Syndrome Society to create this doll and ensure accuracies.
“It was an honor working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” said Kandi Pickard, NDSS President and CEO. “This means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them. This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”
The Barbie doll’s dress pattern features yellow and blue butterflies, which are the colors and symbols associated with Down syndrome awareness. Also, toy makers sculpted the Barbie’s face and body to be “more illustrative of women with Down syndrome, including a shorter frame and a longer torso,” according to Mattel. The Barbie also wears pink ankle foot orthotics, which some children with Down syndrome wear to help support their feet and ankles.
This isn’t the first time Mattel has released a Barbie doll that represents more of the global population. Barbie offers more than 175 looks, featuring a variety of eye colors, hair colors, body types, disabilities, and more.
Mattel is selling the Barbie online now for $10.99. Click here to purchase one. They will also be available in store at major retailors this summer and fall.
@thewarrencenter Barbie has done it again! The company is ensuring there is representation and diversity in children’s toys. Mattel and Barbie have announce the release of their first ever doll with Down syndrome. We can’t wait for children to start playing with these! Way to go, Barbie! 💕 #barbiedoll #downsyndrome #downsyndromeawareness #representationmatters #matteltoys ♬ Here Comes the Sun – HERDIANSYAH