Barbie Introduces a Chelsea Doll with Scoliosis to Help Normalize Back Braces

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Shout-out to Barbie for taking inclusivity to a whole new level.

The retailer just announced that it’s launching a brand-new Chelsea doll with scoliosis. Barbie consulted with Dr. Luke Macyszyn—a board-certified neurosurgeon who specializes in children’s complex spinal disorders—to create the product, which features a curved spine and removable back brace.

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The 6-inch toy is wearing a pink dress with yellow lightning bolts and white stars. The Chelsea doll comes with a back brace that can be easily removed by pulling the “straps.”

The goal is to increase representation by normalizing scoliosis among kids. (According to Barbie, over 100,000 U.S. children are diagnosed each year.) The new doll is one of many included in Barbie’s Chelsea line, which celebrates inclusion.

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“As a neurosurgeon focusing on complex spinal disorders, I was honored to work with Barbie on the development of the Chelsea with scoliosis doll and ensure the accuracy of her shape and spinal alignment,” Dr. Luke Macyszyn said. “This doll is an amazing example of representation for young children and adolescents who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or wearing a back brace, and I look forward to seeing it on shelves.”

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In a statement, Lisa McKnight (executive vice president and global head of Mattel’s Barbie and Dolls) explained the inspiration behind the new doll. “We believe in the power of representation and are committed to creating dolls in a variety of looks so that kids can see themselves in Barbie—and now, in a line celebrating Barbie’s little sister Chelsea,” she said. “We’re proud to launch the first-ever Chelsea doll with a removable back brace to continue to be more reflective of the world kids see around them.”

McKnight added, “Our Chelsea line provides infinitely more ways to spark storytelling, all while providing kids with a way to develop their empathy and social processing skills through doll play.”

The Barbie Chelsea doll with scoliosis retails for $8. It can be purchased online at Amazon, Target and Walmart.

BRB, spreading the word.


Senior Editor

Greta Heggeness is a California-based editor at PureWow and has been writing about entertainment since 2015. She covers everything from awards shows to exclusive celebrity...