Mattel Is Releasing An Inclusive New Barbie With Down Syndrome

She's already available to order online.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​Model Ellie Goldstein holds up the new Barbie. Right: A close-up of the doll.

Model Ellie Goldstein holds up the new Barbie. Right: A close-up of the doll.

Barbie just got a new buddy, and she's breaking the mold. Mattel has unveiled a doll with Down syndrome to promote diversity and inclusion through its "Fashionista" collection.

"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," said Lisa McKnight, Mattel executive vice president and global head of Barbie & Dolls.

To create the new doll, Barbie teamed up with the U.S. National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). The doll's features were reviewed by a medical professional, and the NDSS provided guidance on everything about the doll's look, including her outfit and accessories.

The new body sculpt features a shorter frame, longer torso and her palms include a single line — a characteristic often associated with Down syndrome. The doll's puff-sleeved dress is adorned with yellow and blue butterflies, which are symbols and colours associated with Down syndrome awareness. She also sports pink ankle foot orthotics and sneakers with a zipper detail.

Vogue cover girl Ellie Goldstein, who participated in the new Barbie campaign, said seeing the doll made her feel "emotional and proud."

"It means a lot to me that children will be able to play with the doll […] people need to see more people like me out there in the world and not be hidden away," she added.

The doll will be available in limited quantities online for US$10.99. She's expected in-store at major retailers later this year.

Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.