Barbie Takes a Stand for Inclusivity: New Line of Dolls Celebrates Differences

Representation is making giant strides, even in the toy sector

Barbie Takes a Stand for Inclusivity: New Line of Dolls Celebrates Differences
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

  • Updated:

Barbie launches her first doll with Down syndrome in an effort to help more children find a toy that represents them. Just days after releasing the first trailer for her movie.


Mattel executives stated that they wanted to bring out the doll to “allow all children to see themselves reflected in Barbie.” They partnered with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in the U.S. to do so.

Ellie Goldstein, a British model with Down syndrome who has appeared in a campaign with the new Barbie, said she was “very happy” to see the new doll.

He added, “Diversity is important to me, as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not hidden away.”

Mattel said it consulted with NDSS and medical professionals to inform the design process, introducing new face and body sculpting to be more illustrative of women with Down syndrome, including a shorter frame and longer torso.

Following the indications of the NDSS, the pink pendant on the wrist with three stripes facing upwards represents the three copies of chromosome 21, which is the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with this disease.

A Barbie that is already on sale

The doll went on sale today, Tuesday. The doll is part of the Barbie Fashionistas line, which launched in 2022. It also includes a Barbie with a prosthetic leg, a Barbie in a wheelchair and slimmer, less muscular male dolls.

Mattel has described this collection as its “most diverse and inclusive doll line, offering a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, disabilities and fashions, to inspire even more stories.”

Mattel will introduce Barbie dolls with disabilities later this year. (Mattel)

In recent years, Mattel has launched more inclusive Barbie lines, including one inspired by real-life women who have broken social norms.

In 2017, it launched a hijab-wearing doll, inspired by Ibtihaj Muhammad, a fencer who became the first American to compete and win an Olympic medal wearing the garment.

The print on the doll’s puffed sleeve dress features butterflies and yellow and blue colors, symbols associated with Down syndrome awareness. Here’s a Barbie set, just in case you’re in the mood.


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Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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