Strictly star and Eastenders actress, Rose Ayling-Ellis has teamed up with Mattel and Barbie for a new campaign surrounding the launch of diverse new Barbie Fashionistas dolls in the UK.
The new line – which launches today (16 August) – includes the first ever Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids, the first Ken doll with vitiligo, a new doll with a prosthetic limb and a doll with a wheelchair.
Rose – who has brought deaf inclusion to the forefront of national conversation following her starring TV roles – is taking part in the new campaign – entitled Rose, Barbie & Friends – alongside inspiring models Jamie, a 17 year old student with vitiligo; Renee a model and paraplegic wheelchair user; and Faisha, a yoga teacher and model with a below-the-knee prosthetic limb.
Mattel consulted with experts in their fields on the new dolls to accurately portray the hearing aids in the Fashionistas line.
“It’s so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with,” commented Rose. “When I was little, I would draw hearing aids onto my Barbie dolls to make them look like me, so I am thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences.”
Lisa McKnight, evp and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, added: “The Barbie brand wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation, and 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.
“It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.”
The Barbie Fashionistas line is where the Barbie brand delivers the most diversity and inclusion, and since its inception, 175+ looks have been introduced, offering children a variety of skin tones, eye colours, hair colours and textures, body types, disabilities and fashions to choose from.