Mattel is introducing its first-ever Barbie doll with hearing aids as the latest addition to the Barbie and Ken Fashionistas collection. Launched in 2016, the collection is part of the leading toy manufacturer’s commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusivity.
The collection initially featured dolls in a variety of hairstyles, eye colors, skin tones, and body types. However, in recent years, the brand expanded its lineup to include dolls with health conditions and physical disabilities.
To ensure accurate representation of the doll’s behind-the-ear hearing devices, Mattel teamed up with educational audiology expert Dr. Jen Richardson.
“As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll.”
Mattel is launching its first-ever Barbie doll with hearing aids
The upcoming doll sports a brunette high ponytail and a pair of pink behind-the-ear hearing devices. She also dons a floral shift dress with an oversized collar and pink boots to complete her playful look. As with other dolls in the Fashionista line, the new Barbie will come in a reusable, zipped vinyl storage bag.
Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls Portfolio, emphasized the role of toys in embracing diversity.
“It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”
McKnight also stressed the brand’s belief in the power of representation. Furthermore, she reassured that Barbie will continue to introduce more dolls that will “reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them.”
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Aside from the hard-of-hearing Barbie, Mattel is also launching a Ken with vitiligo and a Barbie with a prosthetic leg. All new models are set to hit the shelves this June.