Barbie, the classic children’s doll that has become a staple of American culture, is kicking off the new decade with a renewed push for more diverse and inclusive offerings. Mattel has now unveiled its Fashionistas 2020 collection to show off “a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” according to CNN.
The new range of dolls includes one with vitiligo, a condition that causes the loss of skin pigment in blotches. (Supermodel Winnie Harlow has helped raise awareness about vitiligo.) Mattel notes in a press release that “offering a doll with vitiligo in our main doll line allows kids to play out even more stories they see in the world around them.” And the brand even worked with a dermatologist to make sure vitiligo was properly represented in the design of the doll.
You’ll also find a Barbie doll with no hair in the new range, a reflection of both the trends we see out in the world and of the realities of hair loss. Back in 2019, Barbie introduced dolls with disabilities—one has a prosthetic limb, another uses a wheelchair. For that launch, Mattel collaborated with a 12-year-old named 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.” For 2020, the brand has added a doll with a darker skin tone who uses a (very fabulous) gold prosthetic limb.
The brand adds that the steps its taken to become more diverse and inclusive have resonated with the public. According to Mattel, over half the dolls offered in 2019 were a departure from the original Barbie and the top selling doll for almost every week of last year was a curvy black doll from its Fashionista line who wears her hair in an afro. In the UK, one in four dolls sold is a Barbie with a wheelchair.
We can’t wait to see what’s next.