Barbie used to be considered an example of unrealistic beauty ideals, but in recent years, Mattel has worked hard to make their dolls more inclusive and more representative of all different body types and ethnicities.
Their Fashionistas line features Barbies with more realistic body shapes, from petite to curvy to tall. This line also has Barbies with all kinds of hairstyles beyond the traditional stick-straight blonde hair.
Now, Mattel has just announced that they are broadening the definition of beauty once again, this time by adding new dolls to their Fashionistas line that include a Barbie who uses a wheelchair and a Barbie with a prosthetic leg.
“As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” reads a news release about the new Barbies, according to USA Today.
“A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer … hotline,” Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, Kim Culmone, told Teen Vogue. “It’s important to us to listen to our consumers.”
Barbie tweeted about offering more “diverse and inclusive” dolls than ever the day they announced the new line:
Over the years, the #Barbie #Fashionistas line has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them. We’re excited to expand our offerings as the most diverse and inclusive doll line in the world. #Barbie60 https://t.co/X3tXmCZgWG
— Barbie (@Barbie) February 11, 2019
These new Barbies were created in part with the expertise of 13-year-old Jordan Reeves, who is the founder of the Born Just Right, an organization that offers “creative solutions that help kids with disabilities live a more enjoyable life.”
The Barbie that comes with a wheelchair is part of Barbie’s Made to Move line, which features dolls that are highly bendable. Along with the wheelchair, it will also come with a ramp that can be used with Barbie’s Dreamhouse. How cool is that?
The new Fashionistas line will also include Barbies with textured, braided hair. This is an important addition to the line since many girls of color still face discrimination and abuse as a result of how they style their hair, whether they opt to go natural or wear extensions.
You’ll start seeing the first of these new Fashionistas Barbies on store shelves and online in June.