Barbie has announced the latest additions to their Fashionistas collection, which now includes over 175 dolls, and fans are impressed.
One of the new dolls has a hearing aid, whilst another is a Ken doll with vitiligo. The line is described as Barbie’s “most diverse and inclusive” one so far.
Here is everything we know about the new dolls, including when they will be available to buy…
Barbie launches doll with a hearing aid
Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas line is welcoming some new additions to the collection, which now boasts over 175 dolls, according to a news release.
One of the dolls has a hot-pink hearing aid visible behind their ear. There is also a new Ken doll with vitiligo and a Barbie doll with a prosthetic leg.
Barbie explained that this is their “most diverse and inclusive” doll line which includes dolls with a variety of skin tones, eye colours, hair colours and textures, body types, disabilities, and fashions.
The new additions to the collection, including the Barbie with a hearing aid, will be available in stores from June 2022.
“It’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll”
Mattel worked with audiologist Dr. Jen Richardson to help them accurately represent behind-the-ear hearing aids. In a statement, Dr Richardson said:
“As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll. I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.”
Mattel Executive Vice President Lisa McKnight said that it was important for children to see themselves reflected in the dolls they play with. McKnight also highlighted how playing with dolls that don’t ressemble themselves can help children understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.
She explained that the collection aims to “reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them.”
Fans react to Barbie hearing aid inclusion
The Better Hearing Twitter page posted about the news, writing:
“An exciting announcement today from @Barbie ! Thank you for this new line of dolls that help kids and collectors celebrate diversity and inclusivity. We personally love the hot pink hearing aid!”
Another Twitter user posted: “Excited for @Mattel ‘s release of a @Barbie doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid. Visiting my ENT’s and audiologist’s offices over the years, I’ve seen so many young hearing aid users who will have more diverse toys that resonate with and represent them.”
Walk4Hearing, a nationwide event bringing attention to hearing loss and promoting the importance of hearing health, thanked Mattel for their inclusion of hearing aids.
They tweeted: “We’re ready to make waves with you @Barbie! Thank you for including hearing aids to promote hearing health and awareness! Way to go!”