Toy maker Mattel has introduced its first Barbie with Down syndrome in a bid to make its famous doll range more inclusive.
In a statement on Tuesday, Mattel said it had worked with the National Down Syndrome Society in the United States to make the doll, which has a shorter frame and longer torso than its other Barbies.
The new doll’s face is also a rounder shape, and has almond-shaped eyes, smaller ears and a flat nasal bridge, Mattel said.
“The doll’s palms even include a single line, a characteristic often associated with those with Down’s syndrome,” Mattel said.
The doll is dressed is a puff-sleeved frock adorned with butterflies and flowers in yellow and blue – colors associated with Down’s syndrome awareness.
She wears a pink necklace with three upward chevrons representing the three copies of the 21st chromosome as well as pink ankle foot orthotics, Mattel said.
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“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,” Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel, said in the statement.
“We are proud to introduce a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to better reflect the world around us and further our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play.”
— Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Nick Macfie
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