Love Island star Tasha Ghouri is among those heaping praise on Rose Ayling-Ellis as she teams up with Barbie to unveil a first-of-its-kind doll. The Strictly Come Dancing winner has joined Mattel to unveil their first doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.
She features in the Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign and is photographed alongside a cast of diverse models who reflect the new line of dolls, which includes the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with a prosthetic limb and another with a wheelchair.
Rose, who has been deaf since birth, said of the new Barbie doll: "It’s so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with. When I was little, I would draw hearing aids on to my Barbie dolls to make them look like me, so I am thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences."
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The 27-year-old became the first deaf winner of Strictly last year when she captured hearts with her stunning routines and beautiful partnership with professional dancer Giovanni Pernice. The dancing couple, who went on to lift the Glitterball trophy, also earned plaudits for one of their dances in particular.
During their spellbinding routine to Clean Bandit featuring Zara Larsson song Symphony, the music was cut and the pair continued to dance in silence in honour of the deaf community. There wasn't a dry eye in the studio after the emotional routine - which was hailed as Strictly's 'greatest ever performance' - and even went on to win a Bafta for Virgin's Must See Moment.
Taking to Instagram with her latest project, Rose shared the images from the campaign and said: "When @barbie told me they were bringing out a doll with a hearing aid, I was so excited. When I was little, I would draw hearing aids onto my Barbie dolls to make them look like me - now deaf children don’t have to!
"To celebrate this moment of representation, I took part in a photoshoot along with models that also have some of the differences you now see in the Barbie line. I’m so happy that children can see even more inclusion in toys now. The Barbie with a hearing aid, Ken doll with vitiligo, Barbie with a prosthetic limb and Barbie in a wheelchair are available from today all over the UK."
The EastEnders actress added: "I LOVE that @mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences!" The post was quickly flooded with messages from her EastEnders co-stars and Strictly pals.
Danielle Harold, who plays Lola Pearce in the BBC One soap, said: "I am sooooo excited for this so proud of you." On-screen dad Danny Dyer wrote: "This makes me so happy Rose." Aj Odudu, who made it to the Strictly final with Rose, commented: " This is truly AMAZING!"
Dragons' Den star Sara Davies replied: "Rose this is just phenomenal." Loose Women panelist Katie Piper penned: " This is brilliant. I’m going to buy all of them." While former BBC Breakfast host Dan Walker added: "GAME CHANGER."
Tasha, who recently made it to the final of Love Island, also commented on the post. "I’m here for this," she said alongside love heart eye emojis and hearts. The 24-year-old was herself the ITV2 dating show's first deaf contestant.
The dancer and model uses a cochlear implant, having been born deaf and receiving her implant at the age of five. In emotional scenes in the villa, Tasha opened up to her fellow islanders about her 'superpower'.
As they gathered together, she said: "I think this is perfect was born completely deaf. I wear a cochlea implant in my right ear. Its just something cool about myself. It doesn't define me, it's just a part of who I am."
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