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LOOK: New dolls with hearing aids and vitiligo

The Barbie dolls collection. Picture: Supplied

The Barbie dolls collection. Picture: Supplied

Published May 16, 2022

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When we talk about representation, it’s not because we want to push a certain agenda, but because children notice everything.

How they view themselves matters, because that can build or crush their self-esteem.

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Last week, I stumbled across a video on Twitter, where black girls were asked which dolls they preferred between the black and the white doll.

Almost every girl on that video wanted the white doll, one even suggested that when she grows up, she wants to put cream on to become white.

It was heartbreaking to hear girls, barely 10 years old, disliking how they look. And we can’t blame them because they have been conditioned by the stuff they see on TV and that black is not beautiful enough.

Even in cartoons, there aren’t many superheroes who look like them, hence they are starting to think that they are not beautiful. Which is not true because everyone, whether black or white, is beautiful.

Barbie, one of the most popular toy brands, has revealed a new collection of dolls. The brand announced its first doll with “Behind the Ear Hearing Aids” and Ken doll withvitiligo”.

The dolls are part of the 175+ looks that have been introduced, offering children a variety of skin tones, eye colours, hair colours, textures, body types, disabilities, and fashions to choose from.

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Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls, says this is to ensure that children with certain conditions also see themselves and are reminded that there’s nothing wrong with them. Their uniqueness is just as important and beautiful.

“We are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types, and disabilities, to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them. Kids need to see themselves reflected in products and must be encouraged to play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate importance of inclusion,” said McKnight.

The new dolls’ range will be out in June this year.

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