The 37-year-old long wait of Jessica Jewett, a Georgia-based author, an artist who is confined to a wheelchair finally comes to an end. Her dream of seeing a Barbie doll in a wheelchair would soon turn into a reality.
As a kid, she used to keep asking her mother and grandmother why Barbie dolls couldn’t look like her in a wheelchair and why doesn’t the parent company Mattle doesn’t make Barbie dolls in a wheelchair.
After coming to know that Mattel is making moves toward inclusivity and further broadening its definition of beauty by releasing a new variety of Barbie dolls, Jessica is in amplified jubilation.
The company announced on Monday that it’s adding a Barbie in a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic limb to its Fashionistas collection. There are also dolls with new hair styles and textures as well as body types coming soon. Mattel has been listening more and more to consumer demands over the past few years, making giant strides toward inclusion. This is just the latest step in the company’s effort to “better represent the people and the world kids see around them.”
Y’all, I just read that the new wheelchair @Barbie is going to come with a ramp to make the Barbie dream house wheelchair accessible. Excuse me while I cry for 300 years because this was the toy I needed as a little girl. I’m absolutely going to buy one. I don’t care if I’m 37. pic.twitter.com/p0aYh68al5
— Jessica Jewett Jones (@JJ9828) February 12, 2019
When Mattel first created Barbie in 1959, she was an unrealistically thin, blonde doll with an interest in fashion. But she’s come a long way since then.
Over the years, Barbie has evolved to become more representative of real women in terms of careers — she’s been a doctor, a robotics engineer, an architect, etc. — and in the past few years, in terms of body types and colors.
“For 60 years, Barbie has been a reflection of culture and fashion and that is key to the brand’s continued relevance,” Kim Culmone, Global Head of Design for Barbie, told GMA. “As we design Barbie for the next generation, we are focused on evolving to remain the most diverse doll line in the marketplace.”
Mattel’s Fashionistas collection, which first launched in 2016, is its most diverse collection yet. It includes four different body types, various skin tones, hair, and eye colors.
And the company just revealed it will debut a doll that uses a wheelchair and a doll with a removable prosthetic leg as part of its diverse Fashionistas line, due out in June.
According to Mattel, the wheelchair has been one of the most requested accessories from young Barbie fans.