Rolling Without Limits

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Why is a Post About the Wheelchair-Using Barbie Going Viral?
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Why is a Post About the Wheelchair-Using Barbie Going Viral?

In an effort to come up with more inclusive toys, Mattel has added the wheelchair-using Barbie to its popular Fashionista line.

Many people have recently been talking about a woman's experience when she first saw the wheelchair-using Barbie doll. Her encounter has stirred conversations among people about how these toys help.

Lorna DH, who posted about the Barbie on Facebook handles a blog entitled Gin and Lemonade, where she shows her life as a woman with a disability lifestyle and give away parenting tips, she also shares her adventures fighting ableism, promoting accessibility, and picking up all the toys in her house. Her blog focuses on disability lifestyle and parenting.

Through a Facebook post, she shared her experience about coming across a Barbie doll in a toy store and explained why it evoked an overwhelming emotional reaction. In the post showing her with the toy, she wrote "I finally found a wheelchair user Barbie. I’ve never had a Barbie, but I bought one today."

Talking about her own experience as a child, she recalls an old neighbor knocking on their door with a Barbie in a leotard. The neighbor advised her mother to use this Barbie as an inspiration for her to walk independently.

Undeterred, she believed that her body was good enough despite its frailty, and her wheelchair was good enough as well. The neighbor left completely confused about why her idea wasn't agreeably accepted. Lorna could never forget that moment.

According to her, representation is important so she couldn't help crying in the aisles of the toy store after seeing the wheelchair-using Barbie doll. She wishes that toys like these help kids realize that they do not need to work themselves out of their wheelchair to get recognition.

"We matter as we are,” she wrote.

Her post garnered positive responses, with many sharing their own experiences. Many discussed the importance of representation in terms of physical disability.

Image credit: TTPM Toy Reviews/YouTube screencap

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