Mattel‘s vice president of Barbie Design, Kim Culmone, told Teen Vogue,
A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer hotline. It’s important to us to listen to our consumers.
On Monday, the toy company Mattel reported that the Fashionista Barbie line will be more inclusive now. They are introducing more body types, hair textures and even dolls with disabilities. Their new Barbie line will now have dolls with detachable prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs, as per CNN.
Jordan Reeves—a 13-year-old advocate for disabled people who was born without a left forearm, collaborated with Mattel to make this inclusive makeover a reality. She has been the person behind inventing ‘Project Unicorn’, a prosthetic arm that literally shoots glitter! How cool is that? Apart from this, she also created a Change.org petition to include dolls with prosthetics and wheelchairs.
Mattel did not just focus on the dolls but also paid detailed attention to the dollhouses. They created a new Barbie DreamHouse that has a compatible ramp and comes with the wheelchair. Jennifer Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility—an advocacy group for people with disabilities said,
We want to see ourselves reflected in the culture, toys, products and everything around us. Barbie joins a number of powerful companies who also understand that marketing, and including, people with disabilities is both the right thing to do and the profitable thing to do.
We will now also get to see dolls with braided African-American hair, less defined waists, smaller busts and more muscular arms among many other inclusive features that will be added in the new release. In fact, since the past few years, Barbie has become much more inclusive. The first curvy Barbie was released by Mattel in 2016 and the very next year they also introduced their first hijab-wearing Barbie.
The executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, Curt Decker, said he is hoping that the inclusive line will show children that there is nothing wrong with kids who have them and bring down the stigma circling around disabilities. He stated,
A big icon of society like Barbie now demonstrates or shows that there are different types of people who can be attractive and something kids want to play with.
This new collection of dolls will be available this June for purchase, so keep an eye out! We’re rooting for this new line and we definitely think it will bring happiness to a lot of kids. What are your thoughts about this? Let us know in the comments below.
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