Kmart is now selling Down syndrome dolls, which is absolutely HUGE for disability representation.
The ‘Baby Charlie with Down Syndrome’ dolls are listed as coming soon on the Kmart website and will retail for $15 AUD.
This comes after Kmart announced a new line of inclusive dolls with disabilities or impairments. One of the dolls uses a wheelchair, while others are vision or hearing impaired.
“At Kmart we want to foster a culture that is inclusive, and a big part of that is reflecting the rich diversity in the community around us,” Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Kmart Group, and occupational therapist, Marcelle Harrison told A Current Affair.
“We’ve had so much positive feedback from the community, we’ve even had therapy services let us know they’re using our dolls in their waiting rooms again to increase the visual representation in everyday life,” she added.
It might seem like a small step, but representation in toys is extremely important. Growing up the only dolls I had to play with were Barbies, until Bratz took over and slayed the game (obvs).
But only having a Barbie to play with for the majority of my childhood was really damaging to my self-esteem. I remember asking my mum “why can’t I look like Barbie?” because there were no dolls with my skin colour on the market at the time.
I can’t even begin to imagine how those with a disability feel, not being represented at all. Just like representation on our screens is important for self-acceptance, the toys we play with as kids are just as important.
It also shouldn’t just be kids with a disability who play with these inclusive dolls, those that are able-bodied should also be introduced to dolls like these.
Because visibility matters.