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Mattel takes new strides towards diversity with latest Barbie Fashionistas line-up

Mattel has taken new strides towards diversity representation and inclusivity within its Barbie Fashionistas line with the release of a tranche of new additions to the line.

A Barbie doll with no hair joins a line up that now includes a Barbie doll with vitiligo, a doll with a gold prosthetic limb, a Ken with long rooted hair, and a redhead Ken. The new dolls join over 170 diverse dolls that have been brought into the range since 2015.

The Barbie Fashionistas line offers girls a variety of skin tones, eye colours, hair colours and textures, body types and fashions to choose from. Over the past five years, the line has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them by introducing more skin tones, body diversity, dolls reflective of disabilities, and updated Ken looks.

In 2020, Barbie is continuing to represent global diversity and inclusivity in the fashion doll space by showcasing a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion by adding:

A doll with no hair

Reflective of hair trends seen from catwalk to the sidewalk. If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.

A doll with a darker skin tone that uses a gold prosthetic limb

In 2019, Barbie introduced dolls reflecting permanent disabilities, including a doll with a prosthetic limb, by collaborating with then 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who is on a mission to build creative solutions that help kids with disabilities, to create a play experience that is as representative as possible. This year, Mattel has expanded the offering to include a second doll with a darker skin tone that uses a prosthetic limb.

A Barbie doll with vitiligo

Mattel continues to redefine what it means to be a “Barbie” or look like Barbie, offering a doll with vitiligo in its main doll line, allowing kids to play out the stories they see in the world around them. To design this doll, Mattel worked with a dermatologist to ensure vitiligo was accurately represented.

Ken with long rooted hair

Ken’s newest style is a first in the Fashionista’s line and differs from the traditional molded look because it has rooted locks.

Barbie’s efforts on broader diversity and inclusivity is resonating; over half of all the dolls sold worldwide last year were diverse dolls. Of the top ten best sellers, seven were diverse, including the doll that uses a wheelchair. 

In the UK, both of the Barbie dolls with wheelchairs were the number one and number two bestselling individual Fashionista dolls while globally, the number one bestselling individual Fashionista doll of 2019 was a curvy black doll with afro hair.

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