Barbie Introduces Doll with Hearing Aids in a Step Towards Inclusivity

Barbie Unveils First Doll With Hearing Aids. (Image: Twitter)

The new Barbie can help more children see themselves reflected in the product, said the company.

Growing up, almost everyone remembers playing with a Barbie doll. However, the barbie doll is no longer how it used to be. With time, even the doll has evolutionised. Maker of Barbie, Mattel has unveiled its first doll which uses hearing aids. As per a statement by the company, this has been done so that more children can “see themselves reflected in the product.” A company spokesperson in a statement said that the new batch of dolls is the company’s “most diverse and inclusive yet. The new dolls in the collection include a Ken doll with vitiligo. This is a condition in which the skin loses its pigment cells and the skin looks blotchy. It further includes a doll with a prosthetic leg, a Barbie with a wheelchair. Also, the male dolls are less muscular than the original Ken doll.

Taking to its official Twitter handle, Barbie wrote, “With the all–new wave of #Barbie Fashion Dolls, we are proud to introduce the first Barbie with behind-the-ear hearing aids, giving kids the chance to imagine even more amazing possibilities with dolls that reflect themselves and the world around them.” The new collection will hit the stores in June 2022.

In a report by CBS News, Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s global head of Barbie Dolls said, “It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in the product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”

The company further consulted with medical experts. This was done to ensure that it accurately represented the doll’s hearing devices. Dr Jen Richardson offered his support. He said, “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. I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.”

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