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Wales Online
Wales Online
Sam Cook

Strictly Come Dancing champion Rose Ayling-Ellis unveils first of its kind Barbie doll

Strictly Come Dancing champion and EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis has unveiled the first Barbie doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids. The actress, 27, features in the new Rose, Barbie and Friends campaign from Mattel, which includes a number of other diverse dolls.

For the campaign, Rose has been photographed alongside a cast of models who reflect the latest collection, which includes the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with a prosthetic limb and another with a wheelchair. Rose, who plays Frankie Lewis in EastEnders, said: "It's so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with."

Read more: How can I apply to be in the Strictly Come Dancing audience for the live BBC shows?

She continued: I am thrilled that Mattel is releasing more dolls that encourage kids to celebrate and embrace their differences."

The new Barbie doll with hearing aids (PA)

Before creating the toy, Mattel, the company behind Barbie, consulted with experts about how to accurately portray the hearing aids. Rosie Eggleston, participation manager at the National Deaf Children's Society, said the charity is "delighted" the doll has come out, describing it as a "really positive step towards inclusion".

Rose Ayling-Ellis alongside a cast of diverse models who reflect the new line of Barbie dolls, which includes the first Ken doll with vitiligo, one with a prosthetic limb, one with hearing aids and another with a wheelchair. (PA)

"She will give all children a much greater appreciation of the diversity of people around them and provide a window into the world of deafness," she said. "This could really help them to 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."

The new Barbie Fashionistas line will be available to purchase in the UK from Thursday.


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