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Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign brings together Rose Ayling-Ellis, actress and “Strictly Come Dancing” 2021 winner, and a cast of diverse models reflecting new inclusive line of Barbie dolls.
August 15, 2022
“Strictly Come Dancing” star, Rose Ayling-Ellis, who also stars in the British television soap opera, “EastEnders,” has appeared in a Barbie campaign marking the first behind-the-ear hearing aid Barbie doll going on sale in the U.K.
A Barbie doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid, Ken doll with vitiligo, new Fashionista doll with prosthetic leg and a wheelchair Barbie doll have gone on sale across the U.K. To mark the launch, Rose Ayling-Ellis is taking part in a new campaign, Rose, Barbie & Friends.
The campaign sees Rose and a cast of diverse talent posing with dolls that reflect, and celebrate, their differences, enabling kids to play with more dolls that reflect themselves and the diverse world around them.
Rose Ayling-Ellis is a deaf actress who has brought deaf inclusion to the forefront of national conversation in the U.K. this year, becoming the first deaf contestant to appear on BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing” and going on to win the competition, lifting the glitterball at the end of the series. She appears in the campaign 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.
“It is so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with,” says Ayling-Ellis. “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.”
Mattel consulted with experts in their fields on the new dolls to accurately portray the hearing aids in the Fashionistas line. “I’m honored to have worked with Mattel to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids,” says Dr. Jen Richardson, a leading educational audiologist and hard-of-hearing advocate. “As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hard-of-hearing advocacy, it’s inspiring those who experience hard-of-hearing reflected in a doll. I'm beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.”
The Barbie Fashionistas line is where the Barbie brand delivers the most diversity and inclusion; since its inception, 175+ looks have been introduced, offering children a variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, disabilities and fashions to choose from.
“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,” says Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and dolls, Mattel. “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 2022 Barbie Fashionistas line is available at U.K. retailers nationwide.
Mattel is exhibiting at Brand Licensing Europe. Click here to register.
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