An A+ Move: Why a Barbie With Down Syndrome Matters

Every kid deserves a toy that looks like them. And not just because getting toys as a minor is sick. Toys that reflect the spectrum of what it means to be human can help every child grow.

As Dr Amber Hewitt explained, “An inclusive toy box can promote positive racial, ethnic, gender, and cultural identity development for children. It’s important for children to see themselves reflected in their toys.”

This psychologist also noted that if a kid can’t buy a toy that looks like them, they might begin thinking, “People who look like me don’t matter.” It’s worth noting that such thoughts can be destructive to one’s self-esteem.

Therefore, I’m so stoked that Mattel has released a Barbie with Down syndrome. While this Barbie should have been made ages ago, these dolls are going to be excellent mates with some folks with Down syndrome.


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What’s more, I’m not the only person who’s excited about this release. America’s National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) teamed up with Mattel to make this Barbie, and they’re very pleased with the results. The NDSS made sure that this Barbie accurately represented a young woman with Down syndrome and would connect with the community.

“It was an honour working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome,” said Kandi Pickard, CEO of the NDSS. “This means so much for our community who, for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them.” 

“This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”

Mattel’s new doll is a member of the Barbie Fashionista range. It features a shorter frame, a rounder face shape, Brushfield spots, and some other characteristics associated with Down syndrome. This Barbie’s also wearing a yellow and blue dress, the colours of Down syndrome awareness.

The Barbie Fashionista doll with Down syndrome is currently available to purchase from Big W, Kmart, and Target. This toys also $13.00.

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