When I was a kid, we didn’t have much variety at Barbie. Almost all of them were incredibly perfect, sleek, and blonde (sometimes with brunettes). However, fortunately, those days are behind us. For years, parents and advocates have complained about the unrealistic body proportions of the dolls the girls play with. Parents began clamoring for variety and inclusion in their products, and retailers looking to open their markets to increase sales were happy to comply. These days, you can find Barbie and similar dolls with many more body shapes, skin tones, and some even have special needs.
Mattel, in particular, has worked together to create a variety of dolls that all girls (or boys) will love. When it comes to dolls, it’s time to be a kid. When a girl named Ella wanted a doll, her mother Lacey Brown-Rogers went to look for a new doll for her little girl. Fortunately, Mattel’s new line of Fashionistas features Barbies and Kens of all shapes, nationalities, and sizes. They also have dolls with disabilities, such as her doll with a prosthetic leg, a bald doll, a doll with vitiligo, and most of all a doll in a wheelchair, which is exactly what Lacey needed for her little Ella.
Ella was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that causes the spinal column to not form properly. Because of this, Ella is paralyzed from the waist down and needs a wheelchair in order to get around. She’s only two years old, but Ella already recognizes that she’s different from many other kids. For Lacey, having a doll for Ella means the world. “Mattel has included my daughter,” Lacey said. “As somebody who has a special needs child, that means the world.” When Lacey was getting ready to give Ella her new Barbie, she wanted to be sure to record the moment and she never imagined Ella would be so excited.
The girl’s reaction was incredibly sweet. The moment Ella saw the blonde Barbie in the wheelchair, her eyes widened. You see how excited she is! The video quickly went viral, and everyone who saw it around the world fell in love with Ella’s adorable expressions as she lovingly looks at her new Barbie. When Lacey sent the video to Mattel, the company sent more dolls to Ella. Lacey says Mattel’s outpouring of love was “amazing.” Check out the cute video below.