The Mattel group has announced the release of a Barbie doll with the image of a person with Down syndrome. Zoom.
The Barbie doll signed Mattel with blonde hair, which marked an entire generation, has evolved a lot. And for good reason. The company which owes its reputation to the creation of many plastic dolls has hit hard in terms of inclusiveness.
After releasing a black doll or a doll with Asian features and even a doll with disabilities, this time Mattel launched a Barbie in the image of a person with Down syndrome. A doll designed in collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), an American organization dedicated to people with Down syndrome. From summer 2023, this new doll will be available online and in stores.
In a statement, Lisa McKnight, Barbie brand manager , said: «Our goal is to connect all children with Barbie, but also to encourage them to play with dolls that are not like them» . But what does the doll look like? On this model, the Barbie doll has for example a longer torso. She also has almond eyes and her height has also been reduced. Physical characteristics present in people with trisomy 21.
To highlight this approach, the group has selected several European ambassadors with Down syndrome. Éléonore Laloux, author and municipal councilor responsible for inclusive transition and happiness in Arras, has accepted this role to represent the doll in France. As the Huffington Post specifies , Ellie Goldstein, the British model and Enya, the Dutch model and influencer, were also chosen to highlight the Barbie.
Since 2016, and following a major drop in sales of the famous blond Barbie doll, the Mattel group has decided to review its strategy and launched a series of dolls representative of women, men and all genders in our society. Thus, we find Barbies more coated, very fine, with several types of skin tone, or even with disabilities. We are therefore far from the predefined stereotype of the Barbie of the 1990s. So, what do you think?