Mattel's latest launch of Barbie dolls keeps diversity and inclusion at the forefront.
The toymaker has released this year's new 2022 Barbie Fashionista collection with several new dolls including the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a doll with a prosthetic leg, a Ken doll with vitiligo and much more.
The first-of-its-kind doll with visible hearing aids is styled wearing a floral print dress, pink booties and a high ponytail.
"Ready to make waves? Dip into new #Barbie Fashion Dolls – our most diverse and inclusive doll line, offering a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, disabilities, and fashions, to inspire even more stories," the brand captioned a photo revealing the exciting new lineup.
Barbie's new doll with hearing aids was created to further expand the Fashionistas line to reflect people with disabilities such as hearing loss, and to accurately portray the hearing aids, the company tapped leading educational audiologist and hearing loss advocate Dr. Jen Richardson.
Richardson shared in a statement that she felt "honored" to have worked with Barbie for the release of its doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. "As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring 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.”
Since revealing the new doll on Wednesday, lots of people have already praised Barbie for promoting representation within its latest offerings.
"My daughter is so excited that there will finally be a Barbie that has hearing aids like her," Laura Ford said in a comment. "We have modified so many dolls so they have puff paint hearing aids but it is definitely not the same as being able to see her go into a store to purchase a doll that looks like her. Thank you!!!!"
Two years ago, Barbie was also praised for introducing its first doll with vitiligo which ended up being one of its best Fashionistas sellers in the U.S. that year. This year, the brand is expanding to include a Ken doll with vitiligo to allow for more storytelling and reach an even wider community of children.
Other amazing additions include Ken options with short hair and new dolls with different body types. These dolls will accompany other successful launches such as a doll with a wheelchair and a Black doll with a beautiful afro hairstyle.
"Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them," said Mattel executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls Lisa McKnight.
She continued, "It's important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don't resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion."
The new 2022 Barbie Fashionista collection will be available in June at a variety of mass retailers.