U.S. toy maker Mattel Inc. has introduced new additions to its “inclusive and diverse” set of Barbie products, this time featuring the popular doll with hearing aids, one with a prosthetic leg, as well as a Ken doll with the skin condition Vitiligo.
The new dolls, to be released in June, will join the Barbie Fashionista line.
Mattel said it wants children to “see themselves reflected” in its toy line that the company hopes will help people “understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”
Mattel Unveils New Inclusive Dolls, Including First Barbie with Behind-the-Ear Hearing Aids https://t.co/c0gMcE3kO7
— People (@people) May 11, 2022
The hearing aids Barbie was created in cooperation with audiology expert Dr. Jen Richardson.
“I’m honored to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids,” Richardson said in a statement, People reported. “As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll.”
“I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them,” Richardson concluded.
This latest line comes just a few years after “gender neutral” Barbie and pro-same-sex marriage Barbie hit the market.
The Fashionista line began including dolls featuring disabilities in 2019 when the company introduced several Barbies in wheelchairs. The line began including dolls with several skin tones, hair styles, and even heights, to represent a more diverse line of body types and the like. The line initially included eight body types, 35 skin tones, and 94 hairstyles.
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