New Barbie With Down Syndrome Gets Launched For "All Children To See Themselves" In Toys

Mattel has launched its first-ever Barbie doll with Down syndrome to help "all children to see themselves" in toys.

By Nicole Dominique1 min read

Mattel, the maker of the iconic Barbie, has recently launched a new doll with Down syndrome to help children find toys that represent them. The giant toymaker's goal was for "all children to see themselves in Barbie" and "play with dolls who do not look like themselves."

Mattel has even consulted with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) in the design process, ensuring the new face and body represent women with the disorder. "It was an honor working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down’s syndrome,” said NDSS president and chief executive, Kandi Pickard. “This means so much for our community, who for the first time can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them.

Charities, including UK Down's Syndrome Association, hailed the recent move. "Children in our community will be able to play with a doll that represents them," says chief executive Carol Boys.

One British model with the disorder, Ellie Goldstein, appeared in the ad campaign with the brand new Barbie. "I am so happy that there is a Barbie with Down's syndrome," she said. "Seeing the doll, I felt so overwhelmed – it meant a lot to me, and I'm so honored and proud that Barbie chose me to show the doll to the world. Diversity is important to me as people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away."

The original Barbie was released on March 9, 1959, and became a cultural phenomenon thanks to her feminine and fashionable look. Her blonde hair, slim figure, and swimsuit became a success after she was marketed as a "teenage fashion model."

Today, the Barbie collection boasts a more inclusive line, representing all women with different body types, skin colors, hair, and more. Mattel's decision to create a doll with Down syndrome is a great example of true inclusivity devoid of political messaging and propaganda – unlike its previous line of "gender-inclusive" dolls.

Love Evie? Sign up for our newsletter and get curated content weekly!