April 2024

After Barbie in a wheelchair, Barbie with vitiligo, and Barbie with a prosthesis, a new Barbie appeared just before summer: the very first Barbie with Down's syndrome. A new addition to the collection of inclusive dolls from the American firm Mattel. 


The 37-year-old Eléonore Laloux is a French ambassador, alongside two other European representatives from England and the Netherlands.

Credit : Mattel


Dolls of all skin tones, morphologies, and professions: Mattel's commitment to the representation of diversity is well established. Barbie with Down Syndrome joins the range of inclusive dolls launched in 2020 by the Californian firm: gender-neutral Barbie and Ken dolls, vitiligo, prosthetic legs, hearing aids, and two models in wheelchairs.


Unveiled last April by Mattel, the Down Syndrome Barbie, designed in collaboration with the American Down Syndrome Organization, bears some of the physical characteristics of Down's Syndrome. Smaller than her congeners, she has an elongated bust, a rounder face, a flatter nose, smaller ears, and almond-shaped eyes, and wears a yellow and blue floral dress - the colors associated with Down Syndrome. She wears a necklace with three small chevrons (another mark of recognition of Down Syndrome) and an ankle brace.


"She's small, beautiful, and flirtatious like me," says delighted Eléonore Laloux. In October 2021, she became the very first person with Down Syndrome to join a municipal council, in Arras, Pas-de-Calais. Appointed by Mayor Frédéric Leturque to the post of delegate for inclusive transition and happiness, she is working hard on all fronts to ensure the happiness of people with disabilities: installing changing toilets for people with reduced mobility at the town hall and in the sports hall, improving traffic lights with sound devices and new street signs that can be flashed to hear their names and find their way around the town...


Since the release of Barbie with Down Syndrome, the new ambassador has been making one appointment after another. The media impact has been enormous: over 300 press articles and TV reports. On social networks, Eléonore has already received numerous messages from parents thanking her and supporting her in her battles.


Having been teased and mistreated at school, Eléonore hopes that the Down syndrome Barbie will help children to feel better about their differences and contribute to "changing the way people look at things and making things happen".