Mattel Unveils 4 New Barbie Dolls Showcasing Diversity

The newest dolls include one with vitiligo, one with no hair, one with a darker skin tone that uses a prosthetic limb and a Ken doll with long hair.
Posted at 9:36 PM, Jan 28, 2020

Barbie has unveiled its newest additions to the Fashionista doll line, which showcases diversity and inclusion. The newest additions for the Mattel company include a doll with vitiligo, a doll with no hair, a doll with darker skin tone that uses a prosthetic limb and a Ken doll with long locks of hair.

The Fashionista line, which started in 2015, now includes 176 dolls with nine different body types, 35 skin tones and over 90 hairstyles. Mattel told Newsy, "over the past five years, the line has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them."  

Mattel said it worked with a dermatologist to accurately represent vitiligo, a skin condition where certain areas of skin lose pigmentation. It said the doll with no hair can be reflective of current trends, but more importantly could represent a girl who experienced hair loss. And for the Ken doll, it's the first time the doll has strayed from its traditional look, having long, rooted hair instead of the mold of a short, clean cut.

These latest dolls join those with various looks, styles, body types and abilities. Last year, Mattel collaborated with a 12-year-old who was born without her left forearm to ensure the doll with a prosthetic limb created an accurate experience. This year's new version showcases a doll with a darker skin tone to create more inclusion.

Offering dolls outside the traditional Barbie mold has proven to be a major success for the company. Last year, seven of the top ten selling Fashionistas were dolls with more diverse appearances. And "the top selling doll for almost every week in 2019 was a curvy black Fashionista with an afro hairstyle." 

Mattel touts the Fashionista collection as the "most diverse doll line...showcasing a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion." The doll with no hair and the doll with the darker skin tone and a prosthetic leg will be available in June, while the doll with vitiligo and the new Ken doll are already on sale.