Mattel recently launched a Black Barbie in a wheelchair and the Internet can’t get enough. The well-known doll company outfitted the new social media sensation in acid wash jeans, a striped cut-out shoulder top, and wait for it… natural hair.
An announcement about the doll first came in February during the 2019 New York Toy Fair. The company introduced her as part of the Fashionistas line. She serves as further proof that Mattel is truly looking to be more inclusive with their doll offerings. Though Barbie is 60-years-old this year, this marks the first time a Black Barbie in a wheelchair has made its way to the market.
In an age where many minority communities are screaming “Representation matters!” it’s not surprising that social media is praising Mattel’s decision. One Twitter user wrote, “There isn’t merely a Barbie in a wheelchair. THERE IS A BLACK BARBIE IN A WHEELCHAIR. I REPEAT, SIS IS BLACK!!!!”
Many others shared in her excitement, while also pointing out that her wheelchair is modern and the ramp that comes along with it fits perfectly with Mattel’s Barbie dream house.
Though the doll that retails for $19.99 at Target is a first, Mattel has made celebrated efforts in the past to recognize the diversity of its customers. In 2018 a hijab-wearing Barbie modeled after Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad made its way to market. In 2015, an Ava DuVernay doll, outfitted in locks and a director’s chair sold out within minutes.