Barbie is getting even more inclusive in 2020.
On Tuesday, Mattel launched a new Barbie doll with the condition vitiligo, which causes pigmentation loss in the skin, as well as the first ever Ken doll in the line to have long, rooted hair. Both are now available for purchase for $9.99. Two more dolls, one without hair and another with a darker skin tone and gold prosthetic limb, will be available in June.
These dolls are part of Barbie’s 2020 releases for its Fashionistas line, which, over the past five years, has introduced more than 170 looks showcasing different identities around the world in hopes of representing global diversity and inclusivity, according to a press release from Mattel.
To create the doll with vitiligo, Barbie worked with a dermatologist to ensure the condition was accurately portrayed. The hairless doll helps girls who may be experiencing hair loss for any reason see themselves reflected in the line, according to the press release.
In 2019, Barbie debuted dolls with permanent disabilities as part of its Fashionistas line. The then 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who co-founded the nonprofit Born Just Right — which develops “creative solutions that help kids with disabilities live a more enjoyable life” — helped inspire a doll with a prosthetic limb. Barbie’s 2019 Fashionistas line was also the first time it included a doll that uses a wheelchair.
The 2020 collection features some dolls from the previous line, including the doll with a wheelchair, which is being brought back due to its popularity.
Most people on Twitter are happy about the new dolls, some seeing themselves reflected in Barbie form for the first time.
Though Barbie dolls have long been overwhelmingly white and skinny, Barbie has made strides during the past five years to diversify. In 2019, more than half its doll selections were inclusive. According to a Mattel spokesperson, since 2015, the more than 170 new looks for Barbie have included 5 body types, 22 skin tones, 76 hair styles, 94 hair colors, and 13 eye colors. Consumers have largely responded to these choices enthusiastically; a curvy black Fashionista with an afro hairstyle was the top selling doll during almost every week in 2019.
“We are proud that Barbie is the most diverse doll line on the market that continues to evolve to better reflect the world girls see around them,” says Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and global head of Barbie and its dolls portfolio.