First Black Barbie Doll Who Uses a Wheelchair #blackbarbie #wheelchair

She comes with a ramp for access to the Barbie Dreamhouse.
By Leah Rodriguez – July 2, 2019
The toy manufacturer Mattel is crushing the stereotype that Barbie dolls promote unrealistic body image and lack diversity.
The company just launched the first black Barbie who is a wheelchair user, and she’s already a hit. She is part of Mattel’s ongoing attempt to create more inclusive toys.
Mattel announced the new Barbie during the New York Toy Fair in February 2019 and officially released her in June as part of its Fashionistas Line, which includes 40 dolls with a range of body types, hair color, skin tone, and eye color. On Thursday, a photo of the doll went viral after one Twitter user raved about her — and the doll has since received majority positive support.
Consulting firm Global Disability Inclusion is excited to see Mattel introduce a Barbie that is a wheelchair user and a person of color, President Meg O’Connell said.
“Representation matters,” O’Connell told Global Citizen. “Everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and ability wants to see themselves represented, and more importantly included in the world around them. Disability is diversity.”
Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization that aims to help hospitalized children and their families, inspired the idea for the new Barbie, according to Insider. Mattel designed her with real girls and wheelchairs in mind — her wheelchair is for everyday use rather than a model usually found in hospitals. Toys “R” Us Canada will donate a portion of the Barbie’s sales to a Canadian chapter of the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The new doll also comes with a ramp so that she can access the Barbie Dreamhouse. Mattel received backlash after it discontinued the first Barbies who used wheelchairs because they didn’t fit into the Barbie Dreamhouse.
Nearly one-fifth of all Americans — more than 54 million men, women, and children — have a physical, sensory, or intellectual disability; and more companies like Mattel are making an effort to represent them positively and accurately. In 2016, the construction toy brand Lego introduced a boy figure who uses a wheelchair, and in 2013, Toys “R” Us added a line of dolls whose accessories include wheelchairs and crutches.
Creating toys like the Barbie who is a wheelchair user doesn’t only benefit children with disabilities — it normalizes disabilities to create a more inclusive society for all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *