Barbie, in recent years, has been committed to fighting stereotypes and transforming its iconic doll “perfect”, to allow anyone to play with something that reminds us of ourselves. For this, the first Barbie doll with Down syndrome came out.
The first Barbie with Down syndrome
Yellow and blue flower dress, light puffy sleeves, pink necklace with three chevrons (to remember the three copies of the 21st chromosome responsible for Down syndrome) and orthotics for feet and ankles: this is how the new Barbie with Down syndrome presents itself. whose rounder face, almond-shaped eyes and flat nasal septum recall the physiognomy of individuals affected by the syndrome. The children’s product was created by the studio in close and thoughtful collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), in a way that “accurately represents a person with Down syndrome and celebrates the community through clothing, accessories and the packaging”. An attention to detail that can also be seen on the palms of the hands, which have a single line, a classic feature of Down’s syndrome.
Barbie doll: increasingly inclusive
“Our goal is to allow all children to see themselves in Barbie, while encouraging children to play with dolls that look nothing like them,” said Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls. Mattel. NDSS President and CEO Kandi Pickard also said, “This means a lot to our community, as we get to play with a Barbie doll that looks like us for the first time. This Barbie doll reminds us that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It’s a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment we’re celebrating.”
The model with Down syndrome, Ellie Goldstein speaks
Ellie Goldstein is a model with Down syndrome, whose impact on the media has certainly helped revolutionize the way we perceive people with the syndrome. Compared to the release of the new Barbie, the girl commented on what happened via an Instagram post with joy. “I am thrilled to know that there are now Barbies with Down syndrome. When I saw the doll for the first time I felt excited and proud. It means a lot to me and to the children who will be able to play with that doll and learn that we are all different” declared the testimonial of the new Mattel product. “Diversity matters because people need to see more individuals like me in the world, not individuals like me who have to hide.”
All new Barbie attentive to diversity
Within the line of Barbie dolls “Barbie Fashionista”, which also includes this one with Down syndrome, there are various and very different representations of pathologies, physical aspects and much more. For example, dolls with prosthetic limbs, wheelchairs, vitiligo and hearing aids have been created. Unlike the classic Barbie we all know, the very tall, very blond one with a super slender physique, today Barbies are tinged with different shapes, nationalities and styles; like the 2017 one, which Mattel produced wearing the hijab in honor of the first American fencer to win the Olympics wearing the garment in question, Ibtihaj Muhammad. In general, there are now 175 different models of Barbie women.