+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Barbie introduces its first doll with Down syndrome in new Fashionistas lineup

The doll and her accessories were designed in close collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Society.

Barbie Fashionistas
Mattel

Barbie's newest lineup of Fashionistas includes a Barbie with Down syndrome.

Ever since she made her debut in 1959, Barbie has been both celebrated for her wide range of careers and criticized for her unrealistic body image. As the first mass-produced doll toy with adult features, Barbie has been an iconic part of childhood imaginary play for decades despite her controversy, and as the hype around the new Barbie feature film shows, she's still a favorite among fans.

One way Barbie has managed to stay relevant is by evolving with the times. In her earliest years, she defied the 50s housewife expectation of women and showed girls that they could have any job they wanted. Since then, Mattel has broadened Barbie's initial blonde bombshell look to allow more girls to see themselves in Barbie's features.

For instance, meet one of the newest Barbie Fashionistas—the first Barbie to have Down syndrome.

Designed in close collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), the doll was made to celebrate individuals with Down syndrome. The NDSS had input in her design from start to finish, with the goal of having her look and accessories be reflective of the Down syndrome community.

Barbie with Down syndrome

Barbie has introduced its first doll with Down syndrome.

Mattel

Some of the features that are unique to this doll are a shorter frame and longer torso, a rounder face, smaller ears, a flatter nasal bridge and sligthly slanted, almond-shaped eyes—specifications designed to make Barbie more illustrative of women with Down syndrome. Even the palms of this Barbie's hands are purposefully designed, with a single line on the palm, which is a characteristic often associated with those with Down syndrome (but can also be seen in people with other conditions).

The doll’s dress features butterflies and yellow and blue colors, which are associated with Down syndrome awareness. And her pink pendant necklace shape represents the three copies of the 21st chromosome, which is what causes the syndrome's signature characteristics.

"The three chevrons, or arrows, are a symbol that unites the Down syndrome community and are meant to represent 'the lucky few' who have someone with Down syndrome in their life," shares Mattel.

Finally, since some children with Down syndrome wear orthotics to support their feet and ankles, the doll has been fashioned with a pair of pink ankle foot orthotics (AFOs) to match her outfit.

Barbie Fashionistas

Barbie's new Fashionista lineup

Mattel

This Barbie is one of a handful of newly-released Fashionista dolls, each of which expands Barbie's range of representation with an array of features. It even includes a Ken doll with a prosthetic leg.

Mattel says Barbie is the most inclusive doll line on the market, with "over 175 looks offering a variety of eye colors, hair colors and textures, body types, disabilities and fashions to tell more stories." As Lisa McKnight, Mattel's Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie & Dolls, points out, not only does this Barbie give kids with Down syndrome a Barbie that represents them, but it also reflects the world all kids live in.

“As the most diverse doll line on the market, Barbie plays an important role in a child’s early experiences, and we are dedicated to doing our part to counter social stigma through play,” McKnight said in a statement. “Our goal is to enable all children to see themselves in Barbie, while also encouraging children to play with dolls who do not look like themselves. Doll play outside of a child’s own lived experience can teach understanding and build a greater sense of empathy, leading to a more accepting world. We are proud to introduce a Barbie doll with Down syndrome to better reflect the world around us and further our commitment to celebrating inclusion through play.”

Three cheers for Barbie in all her diverse attributes, abilities and ambitions, and kudos to those who keep trying to make her world more inclusive and representative of everyone.

Florida teacher Yolanda Turner engaged 8th grade students in a dance-off.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Teachers deserve all the kudos, high fives, raises, accolades, prizes and thanks for everything they do. Even if they just stuck to academics alone, they'd be worth far more than they get, but so many teachers go above and beyond to teach the whole child, from balancing equations to building character qualities.

One way dedicated educators do that is by developing relationships and building rapport with their students. And one surefire way to build rapport is to dance with them.

A viral video shared by an assistant principal at Sumner High School & Academy in Riverview, Florida shows a group of students gathered around one student as he challenges a teacher to a dance-off.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Popular philosopher shares the one way to know someone is a true genius

They have a skill that separates them from the merely talented.

Albert Einstein and William Shakespeare.

What separates people who are geniuses from those who are merely talented? German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 - 1860) explained the difference: "Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see."

Popular TikTok philosopher Juan de Medeiros further explained Schopenhauer’s views on genius in a video that has been seen over 200,000 times.

"Essentially, what he meant is that true genius is when you can do or see things that other people can't even conceive of,” de Medeiros explained. “It's like a genius is often doing something before his time has come; will often only be recognized after his death. Someone who is talented is very good at doing something that other people recognize as being important. Whereas a genius is someone who has the vision to foresee that which will become important in the future."

Keep ReadingShow less

The gaze of the approving Boomer.

Over the past few years, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) have been getting a lot of grief from the generations that came after them, Gen X (1965 to 1980), Millenials (1981 to 1996), and now, Gen Z (1997 to 2012). Their grievances include environmental destruction, wealth hoarding, political polarization, and being judgemental when they don’t understand how hard it is for younger people to make it in America these days.

Every Baby Boomer is different, so it's wrong to paint them all with a broad brush. But it’s undeniable that each generation shares common values, and some are bound to come into conflict.

However, life in 2023 isn’t without its annoyances. Many that came about after the technological revolution put a phone in everyone’s hands and brought a whole new host of problems. Add the younger generations' hands-on approach to child rearing and penchant for outrage, and a lot of moden life has become insufferanble.

Keep ReadingShow less
Representative Image from Canva

Some troublemaker named Conor got a little tough love this year for Valentine's Day.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and that means parents will be sifting and sorting through piles of cutesy cards. Most will probably contain the standard fare—a sweet cartoon character, some candy, a nice message.

But then again, kids do say the darndest things, and you never know when that candidness will pop up to deliver some grade-A comedy.

For a woman named Nisarah, it happened when her daughter decided to create handmade cards for her classmates. Let’s just say…one stood out among the rest.
Keep ReadingShow less

A wise woman shares her thoughts on "perfection."

As the ancient proverb says, “Brevity is the soul of wit,” but communicating big, essential ideas clearly and concisely is also a great indicator of wisdom. In a world awash with information, the ability to take a complex idea and turn it into simple, understandable statements is a true gift.

Succinct, bite-size pieces of wisdom are also a way to help people remember what’s truly important. As theologian François Fénelon once said, “The more you say, the less people remember."

The ability to communicate big ideas simply, reveals the level of understanding one has on a subject. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."

In an attempt to collect some of the pithiest bits of wisdom known to humankind, a Reddit user named Upset-Document-8399 posed a big question to the AskReddit forum: “Wise people of Reddit, what's a one-liner pearl of wisdom you know?”

Keep ReadingShow less
Representative image from Canva

A birth clinic with facials? Now that's luxury.

When I say “picture a birthing clinic,” you’re likely to imagine all white rooms and hospital beds…not luxury suites and spa vibes.

But the latter was what Nicole Patrice, who had moved to Japan from Kentucky and underwent a c-section at the Nagoya Birth Clinic, where her husband purchased a 5-day stay in the “precious suite” as a Christmas gift.

Her tour of the facility and all its next level amenities—not to mention its price—left viewers in shock.

Keep ReadingShow less