A new Barbie doll with Down syndrome was created by Mattel in collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Society. The physical characteristics, attire, and accessories of Barbie are intended to depict what it’s like to live with the condition.
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The doll, which the manufacturer claims is the first Barbie with Down syndrome, has pink ankle foot orthoses to support her feet and ankles and is accessorised with a number of additional items that either raise awareness of the illness or are frequently used by those who have it.
The brand described the new doll as a “inclusive range” of Barbie 2023 Fashionista dolls “designed to reflect the world kids see today.”
Barbie’s Fashionista line has previously featured dolls with hearing aids, wheelchairs and ramps, as well as Barbie and Ken with the skin disorder vitiligo.
“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,” said Lisa McKnight, an executive vice president of Mattel, in a news release.
Describe the Down syndrome.
A person with Down syndrome is born with an extra chromosome, or the X-shaped packets that contain our genes.
One of these chromosomes, chromosome 21, has an extra copy in infants with Down syndrome.
According to the CDC, this extra copy alters how the baby’s body and brain develop, which may present issues for the infant’s mental and physical development.
In the United States, roughly 6,000 newborns are born with Down syndrome every year. According to the CDC, this indicates that around 1 in 700 infants have Down syndrome.
The CDC notes on its website that although individuals with Down syndrome “might act and look similar,” each one has unique talents.
“This means so much for our community, who can now play with a Barbie doll that looks like them for the first time,” said Kandi Pickard, president and chief executive officer of the National Down Syndrome Society. “This Barbie serves as a reminder that the importance of representation should never be understated. We are happy about the development for inclusion at this particular time.