New Barbie Doll Is a 'Huge Step Forward for Inclusion'

'Fashionistas' addition has Down syndrome
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2023 6:38 PM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2023 4:05 PM CDT

Mattel has unveiled the latest addition to its Fashionista line of diverse Barbie dolls—a Barbie with Down Syndrome. The company says it worked closely with the National Down Syndrome Society to create an accurate depiction of a person with the genetic condition, CNN reports. The doll has a body shape and facial features designed to resemble women with the condition, and the doll's "palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome," Mattel said in a press release.

The company says the doll's clothes and accessories include symbols and colors associated with Down syndrome. The doll's dress is blue and yellow with butterflies. The Barbie's necklace has three chevrons to represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome that people with Down syndrome have. "This means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them," says Kandi Pickard, president and CEO of the NDSS. "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." Other dolls in the Fashionista line include a Barbie with hearing aids and a Ken with a prosthetic leg, the AP reports. (More Barbie stories.)

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