The company announced on Monday that it's adding a Barbie in a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic limb to its Fashionistas collection. There are also dolls with new hair styles and textures as well as body types coming soon. Mattel has been listening more and more to consumer demands over the past few years, making giant strides toward inclusion. This is just the latest step in the company's effort to "better represent the people and the world kids see around them."
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time Mattel created a doll in a wheelchair. Back in 1997, the brand introduced "Share-a-Smile Becky," a Barbie friend who used a wheelchair.
She wasn't around for long though. She was discontinued by Mattel when it realized Becky wasn't compatible with other Barbie accessories, such as the Barbie Dream House.
The upcoming release will also include a doll with natural hair texture and another with braids.
The brand has faced backlash regarding hair texture in the past, so this is definitely a step in the right direction for Mattel. Listening to consumers definitely pays off.
Kudos to Mattel for broadening its perception of beauty and for helping young girls feel seen.
"It is a continuation of our mission to really show all girls they have limitless potential, that it's not the end," Culmone said of the new line. "This is just a continuing commitment that's about the present and the future."