Barbie has announced the launch of its latest additions to its Fashionista line, including a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids, a Ken doll with vitiligo and a doll with a prosthetic leg.

Over the past few years, Mattel’s Fashionista range has expanded. In 2016, Barbie dolls with different body shapes were released. Four years later, the company launched Barbie dolls with vitiligo – a skin condition that affects skin pigmentation.

According to Mattel Executive Vice President Lisa McKnight, the Fashionista collection aims to “reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them”.

For the latest addition, the company worked with audiologist Dr. Jen Richardson to accurately represent behind-the-ear hearing aids.

“As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hearing loss advocacy, it’s inspiring to see those who experience hearing loss reflected in a doll,” Richardson said in a statement.


“I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.”

Fans have expressed their excitement over the new additions, with one tweeting: “Excited for Mattel’s release of a Barbie doll with a behind-the-ear hearing aid. Visiting my ENT’s and audiologist’s offices over the years, I’ve seen so many young hearing aid users who will have more diverse toys that resonate with and represent them.”


Another added, “I appreciate the design choice of a ponytail. Not all hearing aid users like for their device to be visible, but some do.”

This is definitely a step in the right direction!

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