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Barbie with Down Syndrome

Source: Mattel Newsroom / Mattel Newsroom

Mattel on Tuesday unveiled a first-of-its-kind Barbie with down syndrome “to allow even more children to see themselves,” the company said.

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The doll is part of Barbie’s Fashionistas 2023 line. This launch is viewed as Mattel’s effort to position itself as the most diverse in the market and evolve with the times. Other new dolls in the lineup include a Barbie with a prosthetic limb, a Barbie with vitiligo, a Barbie with alopecia, and more. Male dolls with many different skin tones and body types have been added as well.

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“This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation,” said National Down Syndrome Society President and CEO Kandi Pickard, “It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating.”

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The doll brand has received criticism in the past for portraying unrealistic beauty standards. Since its initial launch 65 years ago, overall societal conversations around the topic have become drastically more progressive. Mattel is proving its commitment to diversifying the toy aisle with this ground-breaking line. It is set to release and become available for purchase this fall.

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