For Jordan, it started when she was four years old. She was upset her American Girl doll didn’t look like her. It was a kick in the gut when I realized none of her dolls helped her feel comfortable in her own body. It was something I wrote about and recognized as a problem, but I didn’t feel ready to push.
Fast forward to late 2015. American Girl announced new accessories that included an insulin pump for kids with Type 1 diabetes. Jordan decided it was the right time to start a campaign asking the brand to consider including limb differences. That Change.org campaign has more than 26,000 signatures. Jordan spoke out in the media and even spoke about the importance of doll representation in a TEDx Talk!
Jordan’s hard work was noticed by Mattel and that made it possible for her to collaborate with designers on a new prosthetic leg Fashionista doll. It was announced today along with a wheelchair doll on Teen Vogue, Mashable, Good Morning America, and all kinds of other websites.
Thank you to the Barbie team for taking the time to listen to Jordan as they’ve worked through this design process. It’s an honor to be a part of a project that has been so important to us for so long. We hope this is just the beginning of mainstream dolls that represent physical differences.
I’d also like to give a shout out to those companies that already jumped into the world of disability doll representation. Thank you to Amy, the amazing doll maker at like A Doll Like Me, the prosthetists at One Step Ahead who create prosthetics for American Girl dolls, to Vermont Teddy Bear Company for continuing to sell limb different bears, and to the amazing organization Toy Like Me that helped start international attention around disability representation in mainstream toys.