The Mattel Company, famous for the Barbie Doll line, has added more diversity to its doll designs by creating a Barbie representative of the Down Syndrome population, with support from the National Down Syndrome Society. The doll was created to promote acceptance of this population and to celebrate people in the Down Syndrome community. The doll is designed to portray the facial characteristics associated with the genetic disorder in addition to their orthotic needs. The doll’s yellow and blue outfit was purposefully designed to represent the colors associated with Down Syndrome awareness groups and the Barbie’s necklace, with three chevron shapes attached l, is intended to symbolize the three copies of the 21st chromosome which leads to a Down Syndrome diagnosis.
Barbie has also created dolls representing individuals with other disabilities such as a Barbie with hearing aides, a Barbie who uses a wheelchair; a Barbie with spina bifida, and a Barbie who has a prosthetic limb.