Barbie Rolling With The Times

Six years ago, after toy shopping with my sister and twin great nieces, I was compelled to write a blog about “What If Barbie Was In A Wheelchair”?  Well, many things have happened since then; the twins are now in High School and it was just announced toy maker Mattel is creating a new Barbie.  Guess what? She will be in a wheelchair!

The reasoning behind Mattel’s new creation is to show beauty comes in all forms.  Besides the Barbie in the wheelchair, who will be hitting the market this summer, Mattel is including Barbie’s with braids, as well as sporting natural hair, another with a prosthetic leg, and a few others of different skin tones and body types. Talk about diverse, Mattel hit these new Barbie’s out of the park.

I did learn that Mattel released their first Barbie in a wheelchair back in nineteen-nighty seven.  Her name was Share-a-Smile-Becky.  The only problem with this doll, they didn’t give her the accommodations to do everything. My girl Becky couldn’t even fit in the dream house. You know that wasn’t going to work. What’s a Barbie without the dream house and car?  I even read where a person on Twitter suggested since Mattel is creating all the cool new Barbie’s, perhaps they could create some of the equipment those with disabilities need to get things done, like a ramp and even a service dog.

I believe people think we might ask for too much, but really?  People with disabilities want jobs, marriage equality, accessible housing, independence, medical accommodations and Barbie’s in wheelchairs. When will we ever be satisfied? The answer is we’ll never be satisfied until we can have the same things everyone else has, which is respect and quality of life.

Just think, because of the new Barbie’s, open dialogue between kids about differences can take place in class rooms and play grounds. Perhaps the Barbie’s can assist in helping to put an end to the bullying epidemic.

I’m a happy camper to see a Barbie who’s finally in a wheelchair. I wasn’t quite sure this would happen in my lifetime but it did. I know I’m forty-six and my days of playing with Barbie’s are long gone, but I think I’m going to have to break down and buy this Barbie. I’ll probably put her on my night-stand to be a constant reminder, that if you speak up for something you believe in and have patience, eventually a change for the good will come. I can’t wait to see my new girl on the shelf. You go Barbie!

4 comments on “Barbie Rolling With The Times

  1. Marty ODell on

    Shari as always you are on point! Did you know that auto manufacturers are looking at making the electric cars make some kind of sound? At present they really don’t. The reason is, sightless people cannot hear them coming and might step in front of one! Progress is slow.

    • Shari Cooper on

      Hello Marty,
      I didn’t know about the electric cars but glad to hear about them. Yes, progress is slow but at least people are talking about accommodations and creations are in the making. Thanks for your insight.

  2. Kim on

    When I saw this in the news recently I immediately thought of you and your earlier blog! So happy that Barbie is finally celebrating diversity! Love it! And love you!


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