/ 27 April 2023

Barbie’s diversity play

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

Toymaker Mattel has unveiled its first Barbie with Down syndrome as part of its bid to create more diverse dolls. Mattel worked with the US National Down Syndrome Society and medical professionals to design the doll, which features a shorter frame, longer torso, and rounder face that can be characteristic of women with the genetic condition. The US toy giant previously faced criticism that the traditional Barbie doll didn’t represent real women, with one Aussie study finding the likelihood of a woman having Barbie’s body shape was one in 100,000. In response, Mattel has released a number of dolls of different body types, ethnicities, and abilities in recent years. Model Ellie Goldstein welcomed the latest move, saying, “People need to see more people like me out there”. She was also one of 5 people with a disability to appear on the latest cover of British Vogue – a first for the publication.

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