Most kids love to play with toys, and lots of little girls and boys like to play with dolls. Dolls allow kids to explore their creativity, use their imagination and use social skills. Barbie is known for being a blonde woman with endless amounts of pink clothes, accessories, homes, and vacations. She also has several friends with various skin tones and hair colors.
Barbie has been around since the 1950s, and over the years her popularity has grown and there was even a controversy about her waist and hip features being statistically impossible on a real human being. Over time, Barbie has adapted to changes, including versions of herself in different religions, cultures and sports. Now, Barbie is becoming even more inclusive, with Mattel releasing a line of Barbie dolls with disabilities.
This year, Mattel will introduce a Barbie doll in a wheelchair, and another that has a prosthetic leg, among others. According to Mattel, consumer comments regularly ask for a Barbie in a wheelchair. Mattle even worked with UCLA Children’s Hospital to get the most accurate wheelchair they could. Plus, a 12-year-old with a prosthetic also showed the company in person how important it was for prosthetics to provide maneuverability and flexibility.
Mattel’s global head of fashion design for Barbie, Kim Culmone, revealed, “This year our Barbie line will include dolls reflecting physical disabilities in order to better represent the people and the world kids see around them. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a critical component of our design process and we are proud that today’s kids will know a different image and experience of the brand.”
The new dolls are expected to available in toy stores across the world in the early fall. Also, several new Barbie’s will be available with different hairstyles, including braids, as well as dolls with various body types and sizes.