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Barbie Introduces Its First Doll With Down Syndrome

There’s a new Barbie in town – Mattel has announced the release of its very first doll with Down syndrome!

The toy company says their 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.”

They worked closely with America’s National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) on the design process from start to finish to ensure accurate representation and to “celebrate the Down syndrome community – through the Barbie’s clothing, accessories and packaging.”

“It was an honour working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” Kandi Pickard, NDSS president and CEO says.

Courtesy Mattel

“This mean so much for the 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.”

Ellie Goldstein, a British Model with Down syndrome who appears in a campaign with the new doll says she felt “emotional, and proud” seeing her for the first time:

“It means a lot to me that children will be able to play with the doll and learn that everyone is different,” she writes on Instagram. “I am proud that Barbie chose me to show the dolls to the world. Diversity is important as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away, Barbie will help make this happen.”

 

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The Barbie range has become more inclusive over the last few years – we now have Barbies in a wheelchair, with vitilago, with hearing aids and more.

The new Barbie with Down syndrome has been unveiled ahead of the release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie starring Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie.

(Feature Image Credit: Mattel)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter and the founder of positive celebrity news site CelebrityKind. (She's also a mummy-of-3, chocoholic and Opraholic!)