Barbie introduces first doll with Down syndrome
By Megan Ziegler
Barbie has introduced another first in the 64-year history of the toy: a new doll with Down syndrome. The doll further increases representation in the toy aisle, Mattel said, and allows even more children to see themselves in Barbie
To ensure the doll accurately represents a person with Down syndrome, Barbie worked closely with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
Several things were redesigned and imagined for the doll, including her sculpt, clothing and accessories.
The doll’s face and body were sculpted to be more illustrative of women with Down syndrome, by giving her a shorter frame and longer torso. The doll’s face has a rounder shape, smaller ears, and a flat nasal bridge, while the eyes are slightly slanted in an almond shape.
The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome. This doll’s outfit is butterflied blue and yellow, which are symbols and colors associated with Down syndrome awareness. She also comes with pink ankle foot orthotics (AFOs), as some children with Down syndrome use orthotics to support their feet and ankles. The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome.
A Mattel executive called Barbie "the most diverse doll line on the market," and said Barbie plays an important role in a child’s early experiences.
"We are dedicated to doing our part to counter social stigma through play," added Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel.
Barbie® introduces its first doll with Down syndrome, further increasing representation in the toy aisle. Image: Barbie Mattel via BusinessWire
Barbie has introduced several other new dolls this year in a variety of body types, including a Fashionista doll wearing braces and a Ken Fashionista doll with a prosthetic leg.
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