Barbie has come a long way since the traditional doll came out. The creators at Mattel Inc, have created new dolls that are very different from the blonde hair, blue eye, perfect body Barbie. They recently came out with more dolls that were male, different skin tones, different hair textures, and different body sizes. The latest idea is Barbies that are in a wheelchair or have a prosthetic limb. The Barbie industry has received a lot of backlash over the years because of their lack of inclusivity. The prosthetic limb and wheelchair Barbie is a step in the right direction for the brand to be known as friendly for all types of kids. These Barbies can be found starting in the fall of 2019.
While Mattel Inc. was the creator of prosthetic limb Barbie, they cannot take all the credit for the idea. 10-year-old Jordan Reeves created a campaign called Change.org about 3 years ago to make American Girl Dolls with missing limbs. Jordan is a sweet, young girl that was born with her left hand missing; however, Jordan does not let her missing arm slow her down. She even competes with her schoolmates on the basketball team. CBSN conducted an interview with Jordan and her mom where Jordan said that she wants a doll with a limb difference so that when she is playing with her friends, she has a doll that looks just like her. The other girls she plays with have dolls that look just like them, and she shouldn't have to play with one that doesn't look like her. The idea of having different dolls has also been expressed by many DIY articles or off-brand websites. These sites show people how to make their own limbs or sell people wheelchairs or prosthetic limb attachments for many different brands of dolls.
Barbies like these have the potential to make a lasting impact on kids today by raising awareness for children with these differences. Children with these differences can grow up having something to represent them, and encourage them to be proud and confident in the body that they have.