People are loving that there’s a Black Barbie with natural hair who uses a wheelchair
Remember when Barbie was just another blonde-haired, blue-eyed, unrealistically proportioned doll? Thankfully, Mattel has been evolving with the times over the last few decades, totally upping their Barbie doll game when it comes to representation. The toy company has expanded the look of their iconic doll, making her more inclusive in regards to body type, race, and career with their 2019 Barbie Fashionistas collection. They have even introduced a doll with natural, black hair — and she uses a wheelchair.
Now available at Target from the Barbie Fashionistas collection is a Black Barbie who uses a wheelchair. She comes with the best accessory — a wheelchair ramp so that she can get in and out of the Barbie Dreamhouse with ease.
Now, this isn’t the first time the groundbreaking toy company has sold a doll who was a wheelchair user. They offered one back in 1997, when the company released a Becky doll on wheels. However, the doll, which couldn’t fit through the doors of the Dreamhouse, quickly disappeared from shelves.
They had a barbie in a wheelchair when I was a kid too, years ago. I'm super glad they have another barbie in a wheelchair, and she's black to boot. Becky was my favorite to play with and this brings back nice memories. I bet this new doll will be someone's favorite too! pic.twitter.com/HTgaOh2pDh— wade ☾ angry ace gay (@littlespoonthor) June 28, 2019
But the fact that the latest version isn’t white and blonde is drumming up major excitement.
A Black, visibly disabled Barbie, with natural hair!?
AND HER WHEELCHAIR ISNT A UGLY HOSPITAL CHAIR!
We love representation! https://t.co/Cp7Z3Qal7d
— Nerdy PoC (@NerdyPoC) June 28, 2019
The reaction to this latest Barbie collection is overwhelmingly supportive, as there are so many young girls out there who are going to be able to see themselves in the dolls.
So I’ve just looked at the full range and it’s making me cry.
Barbie with prosthetic limb
Natural hair barbie
Androgynous barbie with shaved green hair
Girls with short hair
Range of skin tones
Etc etc. https://t.co/JUY6eDFQRp pic.twitter.com/AyTsxKn6xU
— Roo (@ActuallyRoo) June 28, 2019
I got one. Barbie sent me both wheelchair dolls and the one with the prosthetic leg. All the ladies look different. I was really pleased to see the diversity. https://t.co/9NvmjdPf7c
— Jessica Jewett Jones (@JJ9828) June 28, 2019
And it’s especially exciting because the wheelchair isn’t some drab hospital version — it’s fun and shows that this Barbie’s life is about a lot more than the way she gets around in the world. She loves fashion and bright colors. Just like a lot of other young girls who also happen to use a wheelchair.
This is done right in every way possible.
•In a wheel chair
•Fashonista line (showing this character loves fashion and not focusing on the wheelchair) https://t.co/Zj53NHWlaY
— disabledbitch (@disabledbitch1) June 28, 2019
And it’s not a hospital style chair, either! (seeing as most wheelchairs are shown having handles even though many people have chairs without them)— Jackie (@xxxSouthpaw) June 28, 2019
Twitter users wondered if this Barbie had a truly accessible chair that would work with the Dreamhouse, and yes, Mattel thought of that.
Does she fit through the doors in barbie’s playhouse? Because the last time they made a wheelchair it didn’t. Instead of modifying the playhouse... they stopped making the doll.— Emily Hahn (@EHahnMD) June 28, 2019
she comes with a ramp that fits in and makes the house accessible!— montana ♈️♉️ (@Montanalsabella) June 28, 2019
“Barbie doll celebrates diversity with unique fashion dolls that encourage real-world storytelling and open-ended dreams,” reads the product description. “With a wide variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types and fashions, the Barbie Fashionistas dolls are designed to reflect the world girls see around them today, offering them infinite ways to play out stories and express their style.”
People are just really pumped for the double dose of representation here.
THERE’S NOW A BARBIE IN A WHEELCHAIR
i can’t even begin to express how happy i am that more and more young girls are growing up seeing themselves in Barbie pic.twitter.com/XL2PEetu6G
— WEATHERING WITH JUL☔️ (@summersnoqueen) June 27, 2019
omg guys they made a black barbie in a wheelchair?? oh god oh fuck i can’t believe this… a barbie?? with a different shade of skin???? sitting in a chair??? woooww!!!
— leon musk (@littlestleonard) June 28, 2019
We applaud Barbie for this brilliantly inclusive line. Finally, our children will be celebrate their diversity in all of its glory.