It’s long been known how important it is for children to have dolls and toys that represent them.

Seeing a familiar representation on the shelves in a toy store can do wonders for a child’s confidence. Until recent years though, the range has been small with mostly white, blonde, slim dolls being the norm.

Barbie have now released a new range of dolls, in all shapes and sizes, including a range with health conditions.

The Barbie creators, Mattel have announced the diverse dolls as a part of the Fashionistas range.

They recently added dolls that encourage girls to become scientists to the range. They’ve previously introduced plus size dolls too.

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This new range includes a doll with a skin condition, one with hair loss, and a doll with prosthetic limbs. The makers hope the move will represent even more of their audience.

One of the dolls has the skin condition vitiligo. It was designed with advice from a dermatologist to make sure that the skin condition is represented accurately.

According to the NHS: “Vitiligo is caused by the lack of a pigment called melanin in the skin. Melanin is produced by skin cells called melanocytes, and it gives your skin its colour. In vitiligo, there are not enough working melanocytes to produce enough melanin in your skin. This causes white patches to develop on your skin or hair.”

“Global Diversity And Inclusivity”

Mattel’s aim is to provide a “multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion”, while also representing “global diversity and inclusivity.”

“If a girl is experiencing hair loss for any reason, she can see herself reflected in the line.

Mattel also released a range of dolls with disabilities including prosthetic limbs. This doll is the second in the range, with a gold prosthetic leg and a darker skin tone than their predecessor.

As well as representing disabilities and health conditions,  the dolls are now more diverse in ethnicity too, with a wider range of hair textures and sizes.

These Barbie dolls come in five different body types. You can now choose from curvy, petite and tall, as well as picking from 22 varying skin tones. There are 76 hair styles, 94 hair colours and 13 different eye colours.

Ken Dolls

It’s not just Barbie receiving a makeover though. Ken dolls also now come in four different body types.

Ken has also got plenty of new hairstyles including a man bun and cornrows. There are 13 skin tones and 22 hair colours, including the first redheaded Ken.

The Ken dolls have nine eye colours to choose from, so now children of all ages have more choice than ever and a chance for representation.

Do you think it’s a good idea?

Image via Alamy