The new 15cm Chelsea doll, who is Barbie’s little sister, has been designed with a curved spine and a removable back brace. According to Barbie, the doll was made to be reflective of what kids are seeing around them, helping to normalise back braces for children who may wear them and encouraging children who don’t wear back braces to celebrate the importance of inclusion.
To ensure the accuracy of the doll's shape and spinal alignment, 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.
The brand said that 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 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,” said 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 10 times more often in girls than it does in boys, the Chelsea line was the perfect place to expand representation, the company said.