Barbie doll with Down syndrome
TV Commercial Review
Heart or Humor
Mattel’s latest addition to the global Barbie Fashionistas lineup, a Barbie doll with Down syndrome, is a groundbreaking move in the toy industry, expanding representation and promoting inclusivity in the play world. By working closely with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), Mattel has accurately represented individuals with Down syndrome in both the doll’s design and accompanying accessories.
The Barbie doll with Down syndrome reflects Mattel’s commitment to countering social stigma and fostering empathy among children through play. As noted by Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls at Mattel, the aim is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging them to play with dolls that represent diverse experiences.
Mattel’s collaboration with NDSS provided invaluable guidance and real-world insights, informing the design process from start to finish. The new Barbie doll features a unique face and body sculpt, capturing the physical characteristics associated with Down syndrome, such as a rounder face, smaller ears, flat nasal bridge, and a single line on the palms. Additionally, the doll’s clothing and accessories include symbols and colors linked to Down syndrome awareness, such as butterflies and the colors yellow and blue.
The Barbie doll with Down syndrome also wears pink ankle-foot orthotics (AFOs), a practical detail that many children with Down syndrome use for support. This authentic representation is a testament to Mattel’s dedication to promoting a sense of inclusivity and understanding among children.
Introducing the Barbie doll with Down syndrome is a significant milestone for the Barbie brand, which already boasts an inclusive lineup featuring dolls with vitiligo, prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, and wheelchairs. This new addition further strengthens Mattel’s commitment to celebrating diversity and global belonging in its toy offerings.
The new Barbie doll with Down syndrome is an inspiring step forward in representation and inclusion within the toy industry. By working closely with NDSS to ensure an accurate portrayal of individuals with Down syndrome, Mattel has demonstrated its dedication to fostering understanding and empathy through play. This innovative Barbie doll allows more children to see themselves in the iconic brand and is an important tool for promoting inclusivity and acceptance in the world around them.
A good campaign.