Mattel has is working to be more inclusive by adding Barbie dolls with prosthetic legs and wheelchairs to its 2019 Barbie Fashionistas range.
Offering kids a more diverse image of traditional beauty standards, Barbie is leading the way to a more inclusive future.
In its statement, Mattel noted that it can promote conversation about people having special needs simply by adding them to their fashion doll line, exhibiting diversified representations of beauty and fashion.
The multinational toy manufacturing company has teamed up with Jordan Reeves to design the doll that comes with a removable prosthetic limb.
13-year-old Jordan is a disability activist who was born without a left arm.
Mattel also collaborated with wheelchair experts and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital in order to create a wheelchair, which according to the company has been one of the most demanded appurtenances.
“While there are many types of wheelchairs, this chair is modeled after one that is designed for an individual who has a permanent physical disability,” Mattel said in its statement.
The toy maker will offer a ramp compatible with a Barbie DreamHouse along with the wheelchair. The dolls' radically overhauled looks continue to garner huge popularity among rights activists.
It is symbolic that one of society's most notable icons, Barbie, passively exhibits different types of people who can be good-looking and appeal to kids, according to Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network.
Decker hopes the new dolls can help eradicate the stigma that is sometimes associated with disabilities and show kids that people who have them aren't unfitting.
According to Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, an advocacy group for differently abled people, over 1 billion people in the world have some sort of disability.
"We want to see ourselves reflected in the culture, toys, products and everything around us,” Mizrahi pointed out.
With this move, Barbie becomes one of those powerful companies that realize that marketing and counting differently-abled people is not only the right thing to do but is also quite a profitable maneuver.
Image credit: Jordan Reeves/Twitter