Mattel’s newest Barbie is the first with hearing aids
Barbie has really been working to promote the power of representation lately. In fact, the Barbie Diversity line strives to represent children everywhere, going far beyond the original, identical dolls.
Currently, that lineup includes more than 175 different dolls who have 35 different skin tones, 94 hairstyles, nine body types and even more differences. For instance, in 2019, the brand announced a Barbie who uses a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic leg. In 2020, Mattel introduced a Barbie with vitiligo.
The brand has been regularly sharing news about the inclusive line of dolls on social media, including announcements of new additions. The latest such news was tweeted by @Barbie earlier this week, and it features another first for the iconic toy that seeks to represent fans in the Deaf and hard of hearing community.
“With the all–new wave of #Barbie Fashion Dolls, we are proud to introduce the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, giving kids the chance to imagine even more amazing possibilities with dolls that reflect themselves & the world around them,” the brand tweeted. “Coming to stores June 2022.”
With the all–new wave of #Barbie Fashion Dolls, we are proud to introduce the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, giving kids the chance to imagine even more amazing possibilities with dolls that reflect themselves & the world around them.💗
Coming to stores June 2022. pic.twitter.com/X4vjNZbNvQ
— Barbie (@Barbie) May 12, 2022
The brand teamed up with Dr. Jen Richardson, an educational audiologist who the brand says has conducted more than 12,000 hearing loss interventions and helped more than 60,000 educators and parents.
“I’m honored to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids,” Richardson told People. “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.”
The doll is part of a big collection of new Barbies introduced as part of the 2022 Fashionistas line.
“I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them,” Richardson added.
The complete lineup of 2022 Barbie Fashionista dolls will be available online or on shelves from Amazon, Target and Walmart for $9.99 each starting in June.