Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome launched by Mattel
Mattel has launched its first ever Barbie doll representing a person with Down’s syndrome.
In a statement, Mattel said the doll was created to “allow even more children to see themselves in Barbie, as well as have Barbie reflect the world around them”.
The toy is now available for purchase in US retailers for $10.99 and can be pre-ordered from Smyth’s for UK customers.
Mattel collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in the US to bring the product to market.
The doll has a new face and body sculpt to be “more illustrative of women with Down syndrome”, Mattel said, including a shorter frame and a longer torso. Her palms also include a single line, a characteristic associated with those with the condition.
Down’s syndrome is a condition where people are born with an extra chromosome. Those living with the condition will have some level of learning disability.
Around one in every 1,000 babies born in the UK will have Down’s syndrome, according to the Down’s Syndrome Association.
Mattel has teamed up with British model Ellie Goldstein, who has the condition, to launch its campaign.
She said: “I am so happy that there is a Barbie with Down's syndrome.
”Seeing the doll, I felt so overwhelmed - it meant a lot to me and I'm so honoured and proud that Barbie chose me to show the doll to the world.
“Diversity is important to me as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away.”
The doll’s puff sleeved dress pattern also features butterflies and yellow and blue colours, which are associated with Down syndrome awareness.
Kandi Pickard, NDSS President and CEO, said: “This means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them.
“This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”
Carol Boys, chief executive of the UK Down's Syndrome Association said: “As the only charity in the UK supporting all aspects of Down's Syndrome, we often hear from families who feel their children are not represented enough in the mainstream media.
“We, therefore, welcome the fact that children in our community will be able to play with a doll that represents them and their lives.”