Barbie Releases Historic Collection of Dolls With Hearing Aids & Afros


Photo: Barbie Twitter

Mattel has revealed its newest line of Barbies and Kens, and it's the most diversified and inclusive collection to date.

Barbie's new Fashionistas collection features a wide range of dolls including the first-ever doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid, a Ken doll with vitiligo, and Barbies with curvy body types, smaller busts, afro puffs, and more, CNN reports.

Lisa McKnight, Mattel's Global Head of Barbie Dolls, told CNN she wants kids to "see themselves reflected" in their new, inclusive doll collection.

Mcknight added, “Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types, and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them."

The Mattel rep noted that children don't have to look like the dolls they play with — she hopes young kids can "celebrate the importance of inclusion" by selecting toys they don't share physical traits with.

Mattel partnered with Dr. Jen Richardson, a leading practitioner in educational audiology, to create its historic collection.

Dr. Richardson said in a statement, “I’m honored to have worked with Barbie to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. 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." The audiology expert added, "I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them."

Barbies have come a long way since the release of its original doll with blond hair, blue eyes, and a slim figure.

The full Barbie Fashionista collection is set to release in June at Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

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