As the brand states, their current mission is to “continue to redefine what it means to be a ‘Barbie’ or look like Barbie, [which] allows kids to play out even more stories they see in the world around them.”

In developing their new doll options, the Barbie team used a collaborative approach; for instance, consulting with a dermatologist to accurately represent the appearance of vitiligo. And after introducing their first dolls with permanent disabilities in 2019—a collaboration with then-12-year-old disabilities activist Jordan Reeves—they’ve now added a second doll with a prosthetic limb, this time in a darker skin tone.


And while they certainly couldn’t have planned it, mere weeks after Rep. Ayanna Pressley revealed (exclusively via The Glow Up) that she has alopecia and is currently bald, there is now a Barbie that potentially reflects that experience (or those who electively choose to be bald). “If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line,” the brand explains. Pressley herself lauded the doll on Twitter, writing, “[Thank you] for creating new hair loss #barbie, #Mattel.”


Though some may refer to Barbie’s more inclusive ethos as “a bid for diversity,” (we’re looking at you, CNN), “the brand’s efforts on diversity and inclusivity [are] resonating,” says Mattel, which can now boast that over half of all dolls offered in 2019 had diverse qualities, including 7 out of 10 of its bestselling Fashionista styles. In fact, “the top-selling doll for almost every week in 2019 was a curvy black fashionista with an afro hairstyle,” says the brand.

It may seem a small thing, but as a childhood Barbie lover who never saw herself reflected in her own favorite toys, it’s exciting to consider the implications for the children who now can.