Barbie makes strides to further inclusivity by introducing
a Chelsea doll with Scoliosis.
Johannesburg, 8 February 2023 – The Barbie brand is known for offering the most inclusive doll portfolio on the market – and this year, the brand continues to make strides to further inclusivity in the doll line for Chelsea, Barbie’s little sister who is core to the Barbie world, by introducing a Chelsea doll with Scoliosis.
According to the Division of Orthopedics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia more than 100,000 children are diagnosed with scoliosis each year in the U.S alone.* With the release of Chelsea with Scoliosis – featuring a doll with curvature in the spine and a removable back brace – Barbie hopes to better reflect the world around us for all kids to see themselves in play, while also normalizing the wearing of a back brace.
To ensure the accuracy of the doll, Barbie worked closely with Board Certified Neurosurgeon and specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders Dr. Luke Macyszyn, who provided counsel throughout the development of the Chelsea doll with Scoliosis.
“As a neurosurgeon focusing on complex spinal disorders, I was honored to work with Barbie on the development of the Chelsea with scoliosis doll and ensure the accuracy of her shape and spinal alignment. This doll is an amazing example of representation for young children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or wearing a back brace, and I look forward to seeing it on shelves.” – Dr. Luke Macyszyn, Board Certified Neurosurgeon and specialist in children’s complex spinal disorders and scoliosis.
The Chelsea doll with Scoliosis was made to be reflective of what kids are seeing around them, helping to normalize back braces for children who may wear them and encouraging children who don’t wear back braces to celebrate the importance of inclusion.
Barbie knows that imagining you can be anything is just the beginning – seeing makes all the difference. The Chelsea doll with scoliosis marks an important step in the brand’s journey in increasing representation by adding more variety in looks and providing infinitely more ways to spark imagination.
“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. 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.” – Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel.
Children’s early childhood experiences shape what they imagine to be possible. It is important that they see themselves reflected in product. As scoliosis occurs ten times more often in girls than it does in boys, the Chelsea line was the perfect place to expand representation.
The 6-inch Chelsea doll with Scoliosis is wearing a pink dress with matching pink back brace, white shoes, and has her long brunette hair styled in waves.