Mattel Launches New Line Of Diverse Barbies With No Hair And Vitiligo
The maker of Barbie has just unveiled perhaps its most diverse line yet.
Mattel's new range includes a doll with a skin condition called vitiligo, a doll with no hair and a doll with darker skin and a gold prosthetic limb.
There are currently more than 176 types of Barbie dolls with eight body types, 35 different skin tones and 94 hairstyles.
According to Mattel, they are "designed to reflect the world girls see today."
"For 2020, Barbie is continuing the journey to represent global diversity and inclusivity in the fashion doll aisle by showcasing a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion," a spokesperson for Mattel told CBS News.
The manufacturer said it worked closely with dermatologists in order to design the doll with vitiligo, an autoimmune condition that causes loss of skin color.
"As we continue to redefine what it means to be a 'Barbie' or look like Barbie, offering a doll with vitiligo in our main doll line allows kids to play out even more stories they see in the world around them," the spokesperson said.
Mattel also released a bald Barbie which the company said intends to inspire girls experiencing hair loss for any reason and to reflect current hair trends.
Last year, 12-year-old disability activist Jordan Reeves worked with Mattel to introduce a doll with a prosthetic limb, which debuted alongside a doll with a wheelchair.
Now, that doll will be sold with a darker complexion and a gold prosthetic leg.
The latest Ken doll has also taken on a new look. He has long hair and a tie-dye singlet which is a change from the more stereotypical male design of past dolls.
Historically Mattel has been slammed for Barbie's clear lack of diversity and upholding a slim, white and blonde appeal. But it appears the manufacturer has finally started listening.
In 2017 Mattel debuted a Barbie wearing a hijab and more recently it launched a doll that is hearing impaired.
In September last year the brand also rolled en entire line dedicated to gender-neutral dolls aimed at children who "don't want their toys dictated by gender norms."
Mattel claims the top selling doll for almost every week of 2019 was a "curvy black fashionista with an afro hairstyle". Seven of the top 10 best-sellers were diverse, including the doll that uses a wheelchair.
10 daily has contacted Mattel Australia for comment.