Mattel's New Barbies: Dolls With Vitiligo, No Hair, And Prosthetic Legs
Barbie just became even more inclusive with their new crop of dolls that includes one that doesn’t have hair and another with vitiligo
For years, Barbie has been on a mission to create the most diverse and inclusive line of dolls it possibly can. Mattel wants every kid to be able to see themselves in one of these dolls, and with each new addition, we’re getting closer to that level of representation. Two of the newest dolls to increase Barbie’s diversity? One with the skin condition vitiligo, and one that doesn’t have any hair.
In a statement, Mattel said that it wants Barbie to represent “a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” and it’s been using its Fashionistas line for several years now to do just that.
The new doll with vitiligo is already available for purchase on the Mattel website. A prototype of the doll was unveiled on Barbie’s Instagram last year, and Mattel reported that that post became its most liked post ever. And no wonder — vitiligo is actually a fairly common condition, affecting up to 1 percent of the global population, including plenty of kids who will see this new doll and finally be able to see themselves represented in a toy.
The Barbie with no hair isn’t available to purchase online just yet, but it’s one more big step toward a truly inclusive line of dolls. Speaking about the decision to create a female-presenting doll with no hair, representatives from Mattel said, “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.” We can definitely get behind that.
The Fashionistas line has been constantly expanding to represent as many kids as possible, and its website boasts that it now includes 176 dolls with 9 different body types, 35 different skin tones, and 94 different hairstyles. It’s a pretty major departure from the Barbies of the past, which came in one wildly unrealistic body shape and were overwhelmingly white and blond.
The new line even features a Ken doll with long hair.
The line also has dolls with more diversity in hair texture and different body types including curvy, petite, and tall.
The Fashionistas line is what brought us Barbie dolls with physical disabilities, including a doll that uses a wheelchair, and a doll with a prosthetic leg. Mattel enlisted the help of Jordan Reeves, a disability activist who was just 12 years old at the time, to help design and market those dolls.
There are a ton of stories out there that show how important and powerful it is for kids (and all people) to be represented in their toys and media. Thanks to Barbie, we’re getting closer and closer to a world where all kids will be able to see themselves in their favorite toys.
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