Today, four dolls from Barbie in partnership with Girl Hub which include Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aid, Ken doll with vitiligo, new Fashionista doll with prosthetic leg, and wheelchair Barbie doll go on sale across the United Kingdom.
In light of these developments, soap opera and TV star Rose Ayling-Ellis is participating in a new campaign, Rose, Barbie & Friends, working with a cast of diverse stars to pose in front of the cameras while she proudly brandishes her figurines in an array of multicultural faces.
The images feature Rose Ayling-Ellis with Jamie, a 17 year old student with vitiligo, Renee, a model and paraplegic wheelchair user, and Faisha, a yoga teacher and model with a below-the-knee prosthetic limb.
The new inclusive Barbie dolls celebrate a broader view of beauty, allowing kids to play with more dolls that reflect themselves and the diverse world around them.Rose Ayling-Ellis said “It’s so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with. When I was little, I would draw hearing aids onto my Barbie dolls to make them look like me, so I am thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences!” Leading educational audiologist and hard of hearing advocate Dr. Jen Richardson said, “I’m honoured to have worked with Mattel to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hard of hearing advocacy, it’s inspiring those who experience hard of hearing reflected in a doll. I'm beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.” Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel, Inc. said “The Barbie brand wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them. 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.” The 2022 Barbie Fashionistas line is available in the UK from today from retailers nationwide including Smyths with RRP at £13.99 each.