EastEnders actress Rose Ayling-Ellis has unveiled the first Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.

The Strictly Come Dancing 2021 winner is taking part in the new Rose, Barbie and Friends campaign, which includes a number of other different dolls.

She is pictured next to a group of models displaying the latest collection, which includes Ken’s first vitiligo doll, one with a prosthetic limb and another in a wheelchair.

Ms Ayling-Ellis, who has been deaf since birth, explained how she painted hearing aids on her Barbies when she was a child to make them look like her.

“It’s really important for children to see themselves represented in the toys they play with,” she said.

“So I’m thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences.”

Before creating the toy, Mattel consulted with experts on how to properly depict hearing aids.

Rosie Eggleston, engagement manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said the charity was “thrilled” the doll had come out, calling it a “really positive step towards inclusion”.

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01, TUESDAY, AUGUST 16 An undated handout photo of Rose Ayling-Ellis (left) released by Mattel next to various models depicting the new line of Barbie dolls, including the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with prosthetics, one with hearing aids and the other with a wheelchair.  Release date: Tuesday, August 16, 2022

“It will give all children a much greater appreciation for the diversity of people around them and will open a window into the world of deafness,” she said.

“It can really help them be proud of their deafness, celebrate wearing hearing aids and have new opportunities to talk to their friends about what it’s really like to be deaf.”

Last month, Barbie introduced the doll of Dr. Jane Goodall in honor of the conservationist, and released one in April with the image of the queen.

People will be able to purchase the Barbie Fashionistas line in the UK from Thursday.


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