Over the past few years Barbie has been taking on a whole new look––actually several new looks, including a wide range of body types, skin tones and hair styles. The new Barbie Fashionistas line for 2020 continues the trend of diversity and inclusion for one of the world’s most popular dolls.

The newest Barbie Fashionistas collection features a doll with the skin condition vitiligo, a doll with no hair, a doll with a darker skin tone that uses a gold prosthetic limb and Ken with long hair.

The Barbie design team worked closely with experts to ensure the accuracy of each doll. In 2019, they collaborated with then 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who is working to build creative solutions that help kids with disabilities. They also consulted with a dermatologist to ensure vitiligo was properly represented.

Over the past five years Barbie has introduced more than 170 new looks in order to be more reflective of the world girls see around them. The effort to create a more diverse offering of Barbies has been a huge success. In 2019, over half of all dolls offered were diverse. Of the top ten Fashionista best sellers, seven were diverse, including the doll that uses a wheelchair.

The new Fashionistas collection will be released in two waves. The spring wave, which includes the doll with vitiligo and the Ken with rooted hair, is available now. The fall wave, which includes the doll with the prosthetic in a darker skin tone and the doll with no hair, will begin hitting store shelves in June. Several dolls from the previous line, including the doll with a wheelchair, are also being brought back for 2020 due to popular demand.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

All photos: Courtesy of Mattel 



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