Meet Barbie's new Down Syndrome Doll

Publish Date
Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 3:36PM
Photo / Mattel

Photo / Mattel

Mattel has revealed its latest Barbie doll and she is just as fantastic as ever.

The doll’s manufacturer has worked hard in recent years to be as inclusive as possible so its most recent release comes as no surprise.

The Mirror reported the company has been working alongside the National Down Syndrome Society and is set to release its first-ever doll with Down syndrome as it continues to expand the doll’s diversity and representation.

Speaking to the news outlet, Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls, said Mattel and Barbie’s goal is to create dolls that children can see themselves in.

“As the most diverse doll line on the market, Barbie plays an important role in a child’s early experiences, and we are dedicated to doing our part to counter social stigma through play,

“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.”

With input from the National Down Syndrome Society, the brand has been informed throughout the design process and created a doll with representative sculpting, clothing, accessories and packaging.

"With a shorter frame, rounder face, smaller features, and palms including a single line, this doll introduces a new sculpt and details illustrative of common characteristics of women with Down syndrome.​

Dressed in the colours and symbols of the community, she wears matching ankle foot orthotics, and a three-chevron necklace representing the three copies of the 21st chromosome that result in the characteristics associated with Down syndrome – and represents “the lucky few” who have someone with Down syndrome in their life. 💕"

Mattel also teamed up with British model Ellie Goldstein, 21, who posted about the launch on her Instagram account telling fans she felt “so emotional and proud” when she saw the doll.

“It means a lot to me that children will be able to play with the doll and learn that everyone is different,” she said.

Speaking to the New York Post, NDSS said it was an “honour” to work with the company and said the new doll “means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them.”

Current New Zealand Down Syndrome Association statistics reveal approximately every one in about 1000 babies are born with Down Syndrome. That’s one or more babies born every week.

Down Syndrome occurs in children who are born with extra chromosomes and occurs in several different forms.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with edits and permission.

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