Saturday, May 11

Barbie launches doll with Down’s syndrome

Barbie has launched its first doll with Down’s syndrome, in a bid to make the world-famous toy extra inclusive.

Part of its Fashionistas vary, which incorporates dolls who use wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and listening to aids, this doll is the primary to characterize somebody with a studying incapacity.

The Barbie Fashionistas vary
French City Counsellor & Author Eleonore Laloux holds the new Barbie doll with Down's syndrome, in Paris, France April 19, 2023. Mattel/Matthieu Suprin/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES. MANDATORY CREDIT
French metropolis counsellor & creator Eleonore Laloux holds the brand new Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome

Down’s syndrome is if you end up born with an additional chromosome, resulting in some stage of studying incapacity, distinctive facial traits and an elevated danger of coronary heart and digestive points.

British mannequin Ellie Goldstein, 21, who helped launch the brand new doll, mentioned she felt “happy” and “overwhelmed” to see a doll with Down’s syndrome, including “people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away”.

Working with the USA’s National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and medical professionals, the doll has been sculpted with a shorter body and longer torso to extra precisely characterize a lady with Down’s syndrome.

Her facial options have a rounder form, smaller ears, and a flatter nostril, with almond-shaped eyes. Additionally, her palms function a single line, a attribute typically related to these with Down’s syndrome.

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The doll’s pink pendant necklace has three arrows to characterize the three copies of the twenty first chromosome which individuals with Down’s syndrome have, and symbolise “the lucky few,” which is alleged to characterize individuals who have somebody with Down’s syndrome of their lives.

The doll can be carrying ankle helps, that are extra generally utilized by youngsters with Down’s syndrome within the US.

NDSS president and CEO Kandi Pickard mentioned: “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.”

Chief govt of the UK Down’s Syndrome Association Carol Boys, mentioned: “We often hear from families who feel their children are not represented enough in the mainstream media. We therefore welcome the fact that children in our community will be able to play with a doll that represents them and their lives.”

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Other Barbie Fashionistas within the vary, which was launched final 12 months, embody dolls with vitiligo (situation the place pale white patches develop on the pores and skin), a doll with out hair, a Barbie carrying braces and a Ken with a prosthetic leg.

Mattel’s line for Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, launched a doll with spinal dysfunction scoliosis earlier this 12 months, carrying a detachable again brace.

Executive vp and world head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, Lisa McKnight, mentioned the model’s aim was “to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie” and “encourage children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves… [and so] teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world”.

Launched in 1959 by American toy firm Mattel, Barbie – whose full identify is Barbara Millicent Roberts – has since change into essentially the most well-known doll on the planet.

First obtainable as both a blonde or brunette, the shapely blonde bombshell Barbie has since change into synonymous with the model, which has beforehand been criticised for selling an unrealistic physique picture and overly sexualised look.

A stay motion Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, and written by Greta Gerwig is due out in July.

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