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Mattel introduces Barbie doll with Down syndrome

Mattel introduces Barbie doll with Down's syndrome

French City Counsellor & Author Eleonore Laloux holds the new Barbie doll with Down syndrome, in Paris, France April 19, 2023. Mattel/Matthieu Suprin/Handout via REUTERS

LONDON – Toy maker Mattel has introduced its first Barbie with Down syndrome in a bid to make its famous doll range more inclusive.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mattel said it had worked with the National Down Syndrome Society in the United States to make the doll, which has a shorter frame and longer torso than its other Barbies.

The new doll’s face is also a rounder shape, and has almond-shaped eyes, smaller ears, and a flat nasal bridge, Mattel said.

“The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome,” Mattel said.

The doll is dressed is a puff sleeved frock adorned with butterflies and flowers in yellow and blue – colours associated with Down’s syndrome awareness.

She wears a pink necklace with three upward chevrons representing the three copies of the 21st chromosome as well as pink ankle foot orthotics, Mattel said.

“Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves,” Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel, said in the statement.


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