In 2022, Barbie doll will wear a pink hearing aid and her partner Ken will show vitiligo spots on her face.
Barbie dollof the American company Mattel, was shown for the first time on March 9, 1959 at the Toy Show in New York. To date, a billion copies have been sold, but there have always been permanent changes: managers want to continue breaking stereotypes, join new feminist movements, make her an influencer and make integration and diversity a workhorse.
Now “Barbie World” is taking another step forward: from creating the first Barbie with the brand earphones (prosthesis with hearing impairment) up to Ken doll with vitiligo (white spots on the skin)the new 2022 Fashionista Line to be launched at Walmart, Target and Amazon, will help children “see themselves”says Mattel’s global leader of Barbie Dolls, Lisa McKnight, in a press release.
He added that children should also be encouraged play with dolls that don’t look like to help them “understand and celebrate the importance of togetherness.”
The 2022 Fashion Line includes a Barbie with a hearing aid, Ken with vitiligo and thinner and chubbier characters to add equality.
For Barbie with a hearing aid, the company rely on the expertise of Drs. Jen Richardsona leading professional in educational audiology, to help accurately simulate the equipment behind the toy’s ear.
Richardson says Barbie ponytailed him pink hearing aid can inspire those who have experienced hearing loss. “I’m so excited for my young patients to see and play with a doll that looks like them,” she said in a news release.
Ken will show patches of vitiligo, a disease that causes loss of skin pigmentation in certain specific areas.
There have also been changes made to Barbie’s stereotypical body type. From smaller breasts with fuller figures and even thinner, less muscular male dolls, the new toys are meant to be more representative of different body types.
The range of Barbie dolls has become more diverse in recent years. In 2019 they launched a Blonde blue-eyed barbie in a wheelchair and a brunette doll with a prosthetic leg. In 2020, the company introduced a black Barbie with the skin condition vitiligo; it became one of the top selling Fashionista lines in the United States that year, according to the company.
In 2021, a line of Barbie dolls emerged as a tribute to the doctors and nurses who fought Covid-19 around the world. Photo: Reuters
Similarly, in 2021, a black doll with an afro hairstyle it was a worldwide success and ranked as one of the top five most popular models in the world.