Mattel debuts first Barbie with listening to aids

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Mattel, maker of Barbie, has unveiled its first doll that makes use of listening to aids in order that extra youngsters can “see themselves mirrored within the product,” the corporate mentioned in a press release Wednesday. The doll is a part of the toy firm’s various 2022 Fashionistas line, and can be out there to the general public starting in June. The Barbie doll, first unveiled in March 1959, now is available in greater than 175 appears to be like, or kinds, that includes completely different physique sorts, pores and skin tones, hairstyles and textures, and disabilities.

Different dolls within the new Fashionistas assortment embrace a Ken doll with vitiligo, a situation by which the pores and skin loses its pigment cells, inflicting it to look blotchy. The road additionally features a doll with a prosthetic leg, a Barbie who makes use of a wheelchair, and male dolls which are much less muscular than the unique Ken doll. 

Barbie’s new line of dolls is its most various and inclusive to-date.


The brand new batch of dolls is the corporate’s “most various and inclusive but,” an organization spokesperson mentioned in a press release. 

“It is necessary for youths to see themselves mirrored within the product and to encourage play with dolls that do not resemble them to assist them perceive and have a good time the significance of inclusion,” mentioned Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s international head of Barbie Dolls. Mattel consulted with medical specialists to make sure it precisely represented the doll’s behind-the-ear listening to gadgets. It enlisted help from Dr. Jen Richardson, an knowledgeable within the subject of academic audiology. “As an academic audiologist with over 18 years of expertise working in listening to loss advocacy, it is inspiring to see those that expertise listening to loss mirrored in a doll,” Richardson mentioned. “I am past thrilled for my younger sufferers to see and play with a doll who appears to be like like them.”

In 2021, Barbie debuted a doll within the likeness of one of many Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine creators, Professor Sarah Gilbert. 

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