The inclusive Barbie collection now has a doll with Down syndrome

Adhya Moona
Adhya MoonaApr 27, 2023 | 12:31

The inclusive Barbie collection now has a doll with Down syndrome

Mattel released its first ever Barbie doll with down syndrome in the hope to increase representation in its doll line. Photo: Mattel

In its bid to be more inclusive and diverse, Mattel has been launching Barbie dolls that are more realistic and promote body acceptance. They released a Barbie with hearing aid, Barbie with physical disabilities, a Barbie with prosthetic leg and a Ken doll with vitiligo, and a Barbie championing body positivity (which was the first time the skinny dolls were available in other body types).


And now, the American toy company has revealed its first Barbie doll representing a person with Down syndrome. Mattel collaborated with the National Down Syndrome Society to create the Barbie and “ensure the doll accurately represents a person with Down syndrome,” the company said.

Mattel has released Barbie line with 175 looks offering dolls with different eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, and disabilities.

Mattel has showcased racial diversity as it introduced Oriental Barbie, Mattel’s first Asian Barbie doll in 1981 and a "Desi" Barbie in March 2022. There was also a Barbie wearing a hijab that was launched in 2018. (Barbie has come a long way, hasn't it?)

 Barbie with Down syndrome

  • Mattel unveiled it's first Barbie doll with Down syndrome on Tuesday, April 25.
  • The new doll is part of Barbie's 2023 Fashionista line. 
Mattel's new Fashionistas Barbie with Down syndrome. Photo: Mattel
  • Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, Mattel said: "As the most diverse doll line on the market, Barbie plays an important role in a child’s early experiences, and we are dedicated to doing our part to counter social stigma through play.”
  • She also went on to say, “Doll play outside of a child’s own lived experience can teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world. 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.”
  • In order to have the doll accurately represent Down syndrome, Barbie worked in close partnership with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). 

  • On April 25, Good Morning America shared an exclusive first look of the first Barbie with Down Syndrome.

What is NDSS

  • NDSS is considered as a top human rights organisation for those individuals who have down syndrome.
  • Kandi Pickard, NDSS President and CEO said, "It was an honour working with Barbie on the Barbie doll with Down syndrome.”
  • He also said that his means so much for our community, who for the first time, can play with a Barbie doll that looks like them. "This Barbie serves as a reminder that we should never underestimate the power of representation. It is a huge step forward for inclusion and a moment that we are celebrating,” he said.

Take a look at the first Barbie with a Down syndrome:


Last updated: April 27, 2023 | 12:31
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy