Hearing aids, vitiligo... Barbie and Ken dolls towards ever more inclusion

Not everyone is blond with perfect or even unreal measurements or tall and muscular.

Hearing aids, vitiligo... Barbie and Ken dolls towards ever more inclusion

Not everyone is blond with perfect or even unreal measurements or tall and muscular. Mattel, the toy brand that produces Barbie and Ken dolls, was slow to realize this, but has now opened the door to greater inclusion in its products, like its first veiled Barbie. Mattel thus launched this Thursday its first Barbie equipped with hearing aids and the first Ken with vitiligo.

In line with its policy of changing the image of the most famous blonde on the planet, Barbie is now tackling the representation of disability, hitherto completely absent from its range of dolls. The little girl icon for 60 years is therefore now available in a wheelchair, with glasses, with a removable leg prosthesis, and is also displayed with skin diseases. If the road is still long, the brand prides itself on offering more than 175 dolls with various silhouettes, skin colors or disabilities via its Barbie Fashionistas line.

These dolls will join the 170 models in the Fashionistas range launched in 2015, which includes models of different complexions and morphologies, but also others with a disability or with an out-of-the-ordinary look, haircut or hair color. . A range sold internationally and whose goal is to offer models that look like people in real life.

"Allow children to play with dolls that look like them and that better correspond to the world around them"

The first Barbie with a hearing aid is the result of work carried out with an audiologist, Dr. Jen Richardson, explains ETX studios. “As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience in the fight against hearing loss, it is inspiring to see that people who suffer from hearing loss are represented by a doll. I am very happy that my young patients can see and play with a doll that looks like them,” says this healthcare professional. And to complete the range, the brand also offers the first Ken with vitiligo - its equivalent Barbie with the same disease has been on the market since 2020, a doll in the image of the super model Winnie Harlow, a public figure of this skin disease .

It will be necessary to wait until the start of the school year to get your hands on its two new versions which contribute “to representing diversity, inclusiveness and allowing children to play with dolls that look like them and that better correspond to the world around them. “, as Barbie points out in a press release.


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