Edited from CBBS Newsround
The makers of the famous Barbie doll created their first ever toy with scoliosis.
The toy company’s line for Barbie’s younger sister Chelsea includes a doll with scoliosis. Scoliosis is when a person’s spine curves or twists to side. This can cause one shoulder to appear higher than the other, or it may be visible in a person’s back. Mattel’s new doll, which has brown hair, white shoes and wears a pink dress, has a curved spine and a green removable back brace which many people with scoliosis wear to stop their condition from getting worse. The toy aims to normalise the equipment used to manage scoliosis and to also encourage children to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
How was the doll created?
The team at Mattel worked closely with Dr. Luke Macyszyn who is a neurosurgeon and expert in children’s complex spinal disorders. Dr. Macyszyn was able to give the designers advice throughout the process of the doll being developed. “We believe in the power of representation and are committed to creating dolls in a variety of looks so that kids can see themselves in Barbie – and now in a line celebrating Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea,” said Lisa McKnight who is the executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel. “We’re proud to launch the first-ever Chelsea doll with a removable back brace to continue to be more reflective of the world kids see around them. Our Chelsea line provides infinitely more ways to spark storytelling, all while providing kids with a way to develop their empathy and social processing skills through doll play.”
Mattel’s Barbie Dolls with Disabilities
The new Chelsea doll follows other more diverse toys created by Mattel to make their dolls more inclusive and ensure children from lots of different backgrounds feel represented. Other unique dolls introduced by the company include a Barbie doll with hearing aids, a wheelchair Barbie and a Barbie with a prosthetic leg.
Barbie creators Mattel,
have introduced a number of
other diverse dolls
in recent years.