In an effort to assist a greater number of youngsters in locating a toy that is representative of them, Mattel, the American multinational toy manufacturing business that is best known for creating the Barbie doll, has introduced its first doll with Down syndrome. The firm was criticised for the initial version of Barbie, which was released in 1959. The original Barbie had long legs, a tiny waist, and flowing blonde hair, which is an unrealistic body image for the majority of women around the world.
In 2016, Mattel introduced Curvy Barbie, Tall Barbie, and Petite Barbie, in addition to a wide selection of skin tones that reflected a diverse array of races and a variety of body types.
Since then, the company has introduced dolls that are equipped with hearing aids, artificial limbs, and wheelchairs.
Mattel’s worldwide president of Barbie & Dolls, Lisa McKnight, expressed her hope that the new Barbie doll would enable “all children to see themselves in Barbie,” while also encouraging youngsters to play with dolls that do not resemble them. Doll play that is not based on the child’s own life experiences can help children develop a higher capacity for understanding and empathy, which can ultimately lead to a more tolerant world. We are pleased to announce the introduction of a Barbie doll that has Down syndrome in order to more accurately reflect the world that we live in and to extend our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play.
Mattel has stated that company collaborated extensively with the National Down Syndrome Society of the United States in order to ensure that its most recent doll appropriately portrayed a person who has Down syndrome.
The doll has a shorter frame and a longer torso, a rounder face and smaller ears, a flat nasal bridge, and almond-shaped eyes, all of which can be characteristics of women who have the hereditary disorder. Additionally, the eyes on the doll are formed like almonds. The doll wears a yellow and blue frock with puffy sleeves; these are the hues most commonly associated with raising awareness of Down syndrome.
A pink pendant necklace with three upward chevrons represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome, the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. The doll also wears pink ankle foot orthotics to match its outfit, as some children with Down syndrome use orthotics to support their feet and ankles. In addition, the doll has a pink pendant necklace with three upward chevrons representing the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.