Barbie with Down syndrome© Mattel

Mattel Introduces First-Ever Barbie With Down Syndrome

Salva Mubarak
Senior Features Writer

Barbie has been a part of all of our childhoods in some way or the other. The iconic doll has come a long way from its light-skinned, white, slender appearance to be inclusive of more ethnicities, body types, and disabilities.

The latest Barbie to join the slowly growing line of Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas, the company’s more diverse and inclusive line of dolls, is one with Down syndrome.

Mattel, reportedly, worked closely with the National Down Syndrome Society for an accurate representation and got their experts’ design inputs on the doll’s shape, features, clothing, accessories, and packaging.

The new doll is dressed in patterns and symbols associated with Down syndrome awareness and 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.

According to the company, the goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie and encourage them to play with dolls that might not necessarily look like them.

“This means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them,” said Kandi Pickard, NDSS president and CEO, in a statement, adding, “This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”