In recent years, Mattel, one of the most popular toy manufacturers in the United States, has made targeted efforts to increase the diversity and inclusion represented in its toy line. The company’s initiatives were most visible in the wide range of new doll collections produced by one of its flagship brands, Barbie. Of his Inspirational women collection to its wide range of dolls with different skin tones, body types, hair textures and disabilities, the iconic doll maker has strived to allow more young children to see themselves represented in their dolls. And now the company has announced its first-ever Barbie doll with hearing aids behind her ear.
When developing the doll, Barbie turned to Dr. Jen Richardson, who is a leading practitioner in educational audiology. With over 18 years of experience in the field, the hearing loss advocacy expert helped designers accurately mimic behind-the-ear hearing aids for the new toy. “I’m honored to have worked with Barbie to create the true-to-life reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids,” says Richardson. “It’s inspiring to see those with hearing loss reflected in a doll…I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll that looks just like them.”
Barbie’s new doll for the hearing impaired will be part of the brand’s 2022 edition The fashionistas collection. The new line has also expanded to include a doll with a prosthetic leg and a Ken doll with vitiligo, a skin condition in which pigment is lost in certain areas. In total, the collection now includes over 175 dolls that aim to reflect the true diversity that children experience in the real world.
“Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse line of dolls on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls with a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities. to reflect the diversity that children see in the world. play with dolls that don’t look like them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”
The new Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids is set to launch at Walmart, Target and Amazon in June 2022. Until then, keep an eye out for Barbie on TwitterInstagram and Facebook to follow the latest news.
Mattel has made a conscious effort to expand its toy line to be more inclusive, reflecting the diversity of the real world.
As part of its 2022 edition The fashionistas collection, Barbie has just announced its very first doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.
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