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Everyone’s favourite doll is launching into 2020 more inclusive than ever.
On Tuesday, Mattel introduced a long-awaited new Barbie Doll with the skin pigmentation condition, vitiligo. She joins the first ever Ken doll to have rooted hair, not just a plastic hair helmet, and boy are his locks luscious.
Two additional dolls, one without any hair and another with a gold prosthetic limb, will be joining their ranks mid-year.
In a statement the brand says it wants to showcase “a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion” through these new additions to its Barbie Fashionistas line.
Mattel said in a statement that a prototype of the vitiligo toy, which debuted on the Barbie Instagram page last year, became its most “liked” post ever. (Image: Mattel)
While Barbie, who first launched in 1959, has long drawn criticism for her unrealistic, and most definitely un-inclusive appearance, there has been a huge shift towards changing that in recent years, and that is mostly due to the new introductions in the Barbie Fashionista line.
By offering dolls with different skin shades, eye colours, body shapes, hairstyles and clothing Mattel has incorporated more diversity in its Barbie range than ever before. After starting in 2015, the Barbie Fashionistas line now claims more than 170 “diverse dolls” in its range.
In 2017, the company introduced the first Barbie to wear a hijab and in 2019, Barbie debuted dolls with permanent disabilities. In fact last year’s best sellers included the two new Barbies who were in wheelchairs according to a company statement.
The Barbie doll who comes with a wheelchair will be brought back thanks to her huge popularity. (Image: Mattel)
Mattel is taking their role in bringing more inclusive toys to the market very seriously.
To create the doll with vitiligo, a condition that cause patches of skin to lose their pigment, Barbie worked with a dermatologist to ensure the condition was accurately portrayed.
As for the Barbie with no hair, the company said: “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.”
To create its first doll with a prosthetic limb, Mattel worked with Jordan Reeves, a disability activist then aged 12, who was born without a left forearm. Jordan co-founded the nonprofit Born Just Right – which develops “creative solutions that help kids with disabilities live a more enjoyable life”.
Feedback so far has been extremely positive, particularly from those who are seeing themselves represented in the toy aisle for often the first time in their lives.
WATCH: Incredible Barbie makeovers. Continues after video …
Ken finally got some real hair! (Image: Mattel)
Here’s hoping there’s some very happy little boys and girls out there this week thanks to this news!