EastEnders and Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis has been enlisted to help launch the first ever Barbie with a behind the ear hearing aid.
The celebrity is heading a campaign entitled Rose, Barbie & Friends which highlights the Fashionista range of inclusive Barbie dolls. It features a whole host of different models and celebrates “a broader view of beauty”.
Rose Ayling-Ellis said: “It’s so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with. 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.”
As ever with its diverse Fashionista range, the company consulted experts in their field. Hard of hearing advocate Dr Jen Richardson said: “I’m honoured to have worked with Mattel to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. 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.”
Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel, Inc. said “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.”