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Four women with disabilities and health conditions praise new ‘inclusive’ Barbie rang

Many girls grew up loving Barbie but for young black girls and those who had a disability or health condition, it felt isolating to see dolls that looked different to them.

Growing up in Gambia I didn’t have this problem of not wanting to play with a doll that looked like me. I was lucky enough to be playing with dolls that looked like me with dark skin features. Of course these weren’t barbie, nor Bratz.

Making transition to living in the UK I starting to notice lack of represention of black girls on media etc. Thats a whole different topic 😭. I was more a fan of Bratz with all the sassy looks, a bit grown but at least I could see a repsentation of me than barbie but barbie was more popular. It’s something about blond hair blue eyes 😂.

Well Barbie has now launched its inclusive versions of Barbie, including a doll with no hair, one with skin condition vitiligo, one in a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic limb.

 Four women with disabilities or health conditions tell us what they think about the 'inclusive' Barbie dolls
Four women with disabilities or health conditions tell us what they think about the ‘inclusive’ Barbie dollsCredit: David Cummings – The Sun

four women with conditions like has praises Barbie

‘Wearing my first wig was terrifying’

 Louise has suffered from alopecia for 14 years and finds it amazing to see a Barbie without hair
Louise has suffered from alopecia for 14 years and finds it amazing to see a Barbie without hair

 The hairless Barbie doll could help others who are getting diagnosed with alopecia
The hairless Barbie doll could help others who are getting diagnosed with alopecia

‘I wanted to show bullies I was able’

 Rebbeca who grew up with a prosthetic limb is thrilled to see that  her daughter can play with a Barbie 'just like Mummy'
Rebbeca who grew up with a prosthetic limb is thrilled to see that  her daughter can play with a Barbie ‘just like Mummy
 Rebecca believes it is important that Barbie reflects people with different disabilities
Rebecca believes it is important that Barbie reflects people with different

‘There’s no model in a chair’

“I was born in Brazil and played lots of sports. When I was 14, a family member had a gun on the table in the house. I picked it up and it went off and the bullet shattered the middle of my spine. I was paralysed instantly.

When I came round in hospital, I didn’t really understand what had happened to me and, even when my parents told me that I couldn’t walk, I never imagined they meant forever.

After a month in hospital and months of rehabilitation, I began my life in a wheel-chair. I had never met anyone in a wheelchair before and all the toys I had growing up were dolls with perfect hair and bodies.

 Samantha says that wheelchair Barbies 'should have come decades earlier'
Samantha says that wheelchair Barbies ‘should have come decades earlier’

‘I never left house without make-up’

 Joti, diagnosed with vitiligo aged 19, cried when she saw the vitiligo Barbie
Joti, diagnosed with vitiligo aged 19, cried when she saw the vitiligo Barbie
 Joti believes it is another step forward and might help others not to hide away
Joti believes it is another step forward and might help others not to hide away

*These names have been changed.

Four women with disabilities and health conditions praise new ‘inclusive’ Barbie rang
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