(NEXSTAR) – Barbie is releasing its first-ever doll with hearing aids in June as part of toymaker Mattel’s push to make its lineup more diverse and inclusive.
The latest additions to the company’s Fashionista line will also feature a Barbie with a prosthetic leg and dolls in a variety of body types “including smaller bust, curvy and original,” according to an email from a Mattel spokesperson.
A Ken doll with vitiligo is new this year, two years after the release of the Barbie with vitiligo, which was one of the top five best-selling Fashionista dolls in its first year, according to Mattel.
To make sure that the hearing aids were portrayed accurately, Mattel consulted with an audiology expert, Dr. Jen Richardson.
“As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll,” Richardson said. “I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.”
The company’s Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Lisa McKnight, said it’s important for children to see themselves in the toys they play with, as well as to play with dolls that don’t look like them to help foster a sense of inclusion.
“Barbie wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and as the most diverse doll line on the market, we are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them,” McKnight said.
The latest Barbie Fashionistas will retail at $9.99 from retailers nationwide.
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