Strictly Come Dancing star Rose Ayling-Ellis has teamed up with Barbie to unveil their first doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.
The EastEnders actress, who won the dance competition in 2021, features in the Rose, Barbie & Friends campaign.
She shares the campaign 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 in a wheelchair.
Ayling-Ellis, 27 who has been deaf since birth, said in a statement: “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.”
Rosie Eggleston, participation manager at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said “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."
The actress continues to break new ground in the deaf acting community, this year she became the first celebrity to sign a Cbeebies bedtime story.She made her debut in the CBeebies story corner in May, where she told the story in British Sign Language.
Educational audiologist Dr Jen Richardson said she was “honoured” to work on the line and was thrilled for her younger patients who get to see their own experiences represented in a mainstream toy.
She added “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 Barbie Fashionistas line is available in the UK from Thursday.
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