Barbie gets more diverse: Mattel unveils dolls with no hair, vitiligo, a prosthetic limb review

If you’re a small woman with a prosthetic limb, alopecia or the skin condition vitiligo, there is currently a Barbie doll that appears just like you.
The 2020 developments to Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas line will be the organization’s most up-to-date nod to ensuring its dolls reflect more of society’s diversity. Even though a doll with a prosthetic limb debuted this past year, this year’s version is going to have darker complexion. Another new addition doesn’t have any hair. Even Ken has an updated appearance, sporting long locks rather than his signature, short, sculpted hairdo.
“We’ve been dedicated to increasing diversity in our lineup and showcasing all the various kinds of beauty which exist… making the lineup more accessible,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice-president and global leader of Barbie and its dolls portfolio.
Barbie was criticised by some observers for boosting a narrow, unrealistic ideal of what is amazing. However, the brand has been on a diversity push during the previous five years, unveiling dolls using a range of skin tones, hair textures, body dimensions and facial structures.
There are Barbies with less defined waists, varying bust sizes and sculpted arms. Along with the doll in a wheelchair even has her very own ramp.
Barbie’s concentrate on a more grand idea of attractiveness reflects a wider shift that is affecting not only the toy business but also the worlds of fashion and politics too.
Model Winnie Harlow, that has vitiligo, has used her celebrity to talk about the autoimmune disorder that contributes to a loss of skin colour. Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley demonstrated recently that she lost her hair as a result of skin disease alopecia.
A lot of manufacturers have featured individuals not typically seen in advertising, from Lucas Warren, who in 2018 became the first Gerber baby with Down syndrome, to Diandra Forrest, who has albinism and modelled for makeup company Wet’n’Wild.
And Mattel is just one of several toy companies creating dolls which are more reflective of people with diverse looks and skills.

Barbie


“Consumers are asking for this,” says Adrienne Appell, trend pro and spokeswoman for The Toy Association, an industry trade group, who noticed that the doll group hadn’t been inclusive in years past. Now”toymakers are embracing this… showing what kids are seeing in the real world and representing that in the doll aisle”.
American Girl’s 2020 “Girl of the Year,” Joss, is hearing-impaired. The line’s broader array of doll accessories include a wheelchair and diabetes care kit.
The 2020 additions to Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas lineup include a doll with vitiligo and a Barbie with a prosthetic leg.
If you’re a little girl with a prosthetic limb, the skin condition vitiligo, there is now a Barbie doll that appears just like you.
The 2020 improvements to Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas line will be the organization’s latest nod to making sure its dolls signify more of society’s diversity. Even though a doll with a prosthetic limb debuted last year, this year’s version is going to have darker complexion. Another new addition has no hair. Even Ken has an updated appearance, sporting extended locks instead of his signature, brief, sculpted hairdo.
“We’ve been dedicated to increasing diversity in our lineup and showcasing all the different kinds of attractiveness which exist… making the lineup more accessible,” states Lisa McKnight, senior vice-president and global head of Barbie and its dolls portfolio.
Barbie was once criticised by some observers for boosting a slim, unrealistic ideal of what is beautiful. But the brand continues to be on a diversity push over the previous five decades, unveiling dolls with an array of skin tones, hair textures, body dimensions and facial structures.
You will find Barbies with less defined waists, varying bust sizes and sculpted arms. And the doll in a wheelchair has her very own ramp.

Mattel's Barbie


Barbie’s concentrate on a more grand idea of beauty reflects a wider shift that’s affecting not merely the toy business but also the worlds of fashion and politics too.
Model Winnie Harlow, who has vitiligo, has used her celebrity to talk about the autoimmune disease that contributes to a reduction of skin colour. Massachusetts Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley revealed recently that she lost her hair due to the skin disease alopecia.
A lot of brands have featured individuals not typically seen in advertising, from Lucas Warren, who in 2018 became the initial Gerber baby with Down syndrome, to Diandra Forrest, who has albinism and modelled for cosmetics company Wet’n’Wild.
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And Mattel is one of several toy companies producing dolls which are more reflective of individuals with diverse looks and skills. Today”toymakers are embracing this… showing what kids are seeing in real life and representing that at the doll aisle”. The line’s wider array of doll accessories include a wheelchair and diabetes care kit. And Cre8tive Minds, a New York City-based toy company, has a collection known as”Friends with Diverse Abilities” that includes dolls that are visually impaired, and that use a walking frame or arm straps.
Some of the newer Fashionistas are motivated by clients.
Shoppers have welcomed the inclusiveness. Barbie’s top seller throughout 2019 proved to be a curvy black doll with an afro. And one of the 10 top-selling Fashionistas this past year, seven were diverse, including the doll which uses a wheelchair.
This year’s Fashionistas line will roll out in two stages. The newest Ken doll and Barbie with vitiligo are available now, while the new doll using a prosthetic leg and the Barbie with no hair will become available starting in June.
Steadily increasing purchases of diverse dolls have given an increase to Barbie’s bottom line. The brand reported eight consecutive quarters of expansion as of the next quarter of 2019.
“What we’re excited about and proud is not only is this the perfect message to send to children,” McKnight says,”but our efforts focusing on diversity are resonating… from a business standpoint. The brand is flourishing.”