First Barbie doll celebrating Down’s Syndrome launched by Mattel

Mattel has launched the first Barbie doll representing people with Down’s Syndrome. 

The doll was designed in collaboration with the American National Down Syndrome Society with the toy company saying “with this inclusive range of dolls, kids can see how fun it is to express personality through style”. 



Bosses at Mattel say the doll will  “enable all children to see themselves in Barbie,”.

Producers say details including the doll’s dress were specially designed to “celebrate” people with Down’s Syndrome with the colourful dress featuring butterflies which Mattel says “are a symbol of Down syndrome”.

The use of blue and yellow is said to represent Down’s Syndrome awareness. 

Executive Vice President of Barbie, Lisa McKnight, said, “Barbie can play a significant role in a child’s early experiences,” adding, “we are dedicated to battling social stigma and enabling all children to see themselves in Barbie as well as having a Barbie that reflects the world around them,”. 

The doll’s pendant necklace has three arrows to represent the third 21st chromosome that individuals with Down syndrome have. 

The Barbie also comes wearing ankle foot orthoses (AFOs) which are often used to help children with DS with their gait and walking which can be impaired due to ligamentous laxity and low muscle tone

British model Ellie Goldstein, who herself has Down’s Syndrome said she was “so happy” with the new doll adding, “people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away.”

“It’s like me and it’s beautiful and I love it to pieces,” she said. 

The doll was launched as part of Mattel’s Fashionistas range which celebrates Barbie dolls who represent people of different abilities and body shapes. 


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