“Doll play, in addition to a child’s lived experience, can teach understanding and create a greater sense of empathy”
Barbie with Down syndrome. It is the novelty introduced by Mattel on the market, within the Barbie Fashionistas line, created to allow an even greater number of boys and girls to see themselves reflected in this doll, as well as to ensure that it increasingly reflects the world around them. surrounds. Barbie doll with Down syndrome aims to inspire all boys and girls to tell more and more stories through play.
“As the doll brand with the most representations of diversity on the market, Barbie plays an important role in every boy’s and girl’s first experiences, and as such we are committed to doing our part to counter social stigma through play,” said Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel. “Our goal is to enable all boys and girls to relate to Barbie, while also encouraging them to play with dolls that are not like them. Playing with dolls, in addition to a child’s experience, can teach understanding and create a greater sense of empathy, making the world more welcoming. We are proud to introduce a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to even better represent the world around us and demonstrate our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play.”
To ensure the doll accurately represents someone with Down syndrome, Barbie worked closely with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). “It has been an honor to work with the Barbie brand on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” said Kandi Pickard, president and CEO of NDSS. “This means a lot to all people with Down syndrome, who for the first time will be able to play with a Barbie doll that looks like them. This Barbie reminds us that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for the inclusion is a moment we are celebrating.”
Characteristics – with this doll we introduce new face and body sculpting to better represent women with Down syndrome, for example with a shorter body structure and a longer torso. The new face sculpt features a rounder shape, smaller ears and a flat nose bridge, while the eyes are slightly slanted and almond-shaped. The doll’s palms also feature a single line, a feature often associated with people with Down syndrome 4.
Clothing and accessories – the design of the doll’s puffed-sleeved dress is decorated with a pattern of yellow and blue butterflies and flowers, symbols and colors associated with awareness of Down syndrome. The doll’s pink pendant necklace with three arrows pointing up represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome, which is the genetic material that causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. The three chevrons, or arrows, are a symbol that unites the community of her.
orthotics Barbie Fashionista doll with Down syndrome also wears pink ankle length orthotics (Afo) to match her dress and zip-up sneakers. Some children with Down syndrome use orthotics to support their feet and ankles, and the Ndss provided a box of orthotics that served as inspiration to make the ones worn by this Barbie Fashionista look as realistic as possible, coordinated with her clothing from bright colors.