Barbie doll with scoliosis unveiled as toy company aims to highlight the ‘power of representation’ | UK News
A barbie doll maker has made history by introducing its first doll with scoliosis.
The toy company’s line for Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, will see a new addition that features curvature of the spine and a removable back brace, aimed at normalising the equipment and encouraging children to celebrate inclusion.
The team at Mattel worked closely with Dr Luke Macyszyn, a board-certified neurosurgeon and specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders, who advised the designers throughout the doll’s development.
The 15cm doll wears a pink dress and has a removable green back brace, white shoes, and her brown hair is styled in waves.
Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said: “We believe in the power of representation and are committed to creating dolls in a variety of looks so that kids can see themselves in Barbie – and now in a line celebrating Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea”.
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The Chelsea doll has a removable back brace and is a way for kids to be more “reflective” of the world around them.
In hopes of creating a conversation, McKnight added: “Our Chelsea line provides infinitely more ways to spark storytelling, all while providing kids with a way to develop their empathy and social processing skills through doll play.”
After being criticised in the past for making dolls too thin and overly sexual, the company have now been creating a more diverse range, but some of these have also sparked controversy.
Some of the dolls included: Wheelchair-using dolls, Plus size, Hijab-wearing and sign language dolls.
In 2022, the company also released its first Barbie with hearing aids – supported by Strictly Come Dancing winner, Rose Ayling-Ellis.