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Barbie maker celebrates ‘power of representation’ with scoliosis doll

Mattel’s new 6in Chelsea figure wears a pink dress and has a removable back brace.

Mattel's new Chelsea doll

Barbie doll maker Mattel has made history by introducing its first doll with scoliosis.

The toy company’s line for Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, will see a new addition that features curvature of the spine and a removable back brace, aimed at normalising the equipment and encouraging children to celebrate inclusion.

Barbie doll
The Chelsea doll features a removable back brace (Mattel/PA)

The team at Mattel worked closely with Dr Luke Macyszyn, a board-certified neurosurgeon and specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders, who advised the designers throughout the doll’s development.

The 6in (15cm) doll wears a pink dress and has a removable green back brace, white shoes, and her brown hair is styled in waves.

Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, said: “We believe in the power of representation and are committed to creating dolls in a variety of looks so that kids can see themselves in Barbie – and now in a line celebrating Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea.

Doll with scoliosis
A specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders was consulted on the development of the new doll (Mattel/PA)

“We’re proud to launch the first-ever Chelsea doll with a removable back brace to continue to be more reflective of the world kids see around them.

“Our Chelsea line provides infinitely more ways to spark storytelling, all while providing kids with a way to develop their empathy and social processing skills through doll play.”

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