In 2023, Barbie is taking center stage with exciting developments. Alongside the highly anticipated film dedicated to the iconic doll, set to hit theaters on July 20, Mattel, the renowned toy manufacturer, has just made a groundbreaking announcement. For the very first time, they are introducing a Barbie doll with Down syndrome.
Mattel has been actively striving for inclusion and improved representation through its doll lineup, including a Barbie equipped with hearing aids and an exclusive collection celebrating diversity.
To create this recent addition, the American company collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society, whose mission is to help children see themselves in their toys while combating social stigma.
The new Barbie exhibits distinct features to reflect the characteristics often associated with individuals with trisomy 21. She boasts a slightly smaller size and longer torso than other dolls in the range, along with a rounder face, almond-shaped eyes, smaller ears, and a subtly flattened nose bridge. Her palms display a single line, another characteristic commonly observed in people with Down syndrome.
Regarding accessories, Mattel opted for an elegant dress with yellow and blue puff sleeves, a nod to the colors typically associated with Down syndrome awareness organizations. Additionally, the doll wears a necklace adorned with three chevrons pointing upwards, symbolizing the three copies of chromosome 21, as well as shin orthotics and zippered sneakers.
Beyond this remarkable addition, Barbie’s collection showcases the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. It includes dolls with varying skin tones, body types, and features highlighting various disabilities.
To promote this new range of dolls, the toy giant has partnered with several personalities with Down syndrome, such as the author Éléonore Laloux, who serves as a French ambassador and a shining example of resilience and perseverance. The Barbie with Down syndrome has been available since April 25, offered at a price of 10 euros on the official Mattel website.