In partnership with Toys “R” Us Canada and Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada, Barbie has named a teen with cerebral palsy (CP) an official Barbie Role Model for her strength, positivity, and ambition.
A Canada resident and Starlight ambassador, Daniella Altieri was featured June 27–July 3 online and at many of the 82 Toys R Us stores across Canada.
This year — the iconic Barbie doll’s 60th — Mattel is enhancing its Barbie “Role Model” collection inspired by real, successful women. The latest list includes more than 20 role models who hail from 18 countries and speak 13 languages. They include a chef, journalist, truck driver, surfer, soccer player and fencing champion.
”By introducing girls to stories of women from all walks of life, they begin to see more opportunities for themselves,” the company’s website states.
As part of Mattel Canada’s 60-week Role Model program, Barbie and Toys “R” Us will showcase Canadian women and girl Role Models each Thursday through the end of the year. The group is meant to exemplify the Barbie You Can Be Anything slogan.
”We are honored to be selected as part of this incredibly inspiring program,” Brian Bringolf, Starlight Canada executive director, said in a news release. “Starlight’s main goal has always been to inspire and empower children who are ill or live with physical disabilities from coast to coast. We are thankful to Barbie and Toys “R” Us for this opportunity to share Daniella’s story, bringing her message of strength and courage to girls and women across Canada.”
A high school student and athlete, Altieri uses a wheelchair, walker and canes. She plays sledge hockey and is on ski and snowboard clubs. She enjoys encouraging others to take on new challenges as she does, even when they scare her.
”Having met Daniella at many Starlight events, I can personally attest that she is a warm, authentic and courageous young woman who truly exemplifies empowerment within our Barbie Role Models campaign with Mattel Canada,” said Melanie Teed-Murch, president of Toys “R” Us Canada.
As part of Mattel’s Barbie Fashionistas line this year, Barbie recently introduced a new doll that comes with a wheelchair and ramp that fits inside the Barbie Dreamhouse. The three-year-old line emphasizes diversity and inclusion. A portion of this year’s sales from Barbie Fashionista in Wheelchair doll will be donated to Starlight Canada, an organization dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families.
“We’re proud to offer the most diverse line of dolls available on the market today, celebrating a variety of skin tones, hair types, body types and now physical disabilities,” said Lisa Perry, Barbie brand manager. “We”re honored to reflect some of this diversity in Daniella, an incredible teen who shows every day that you can be anything.”
More than 50,000 Canadians have CP, according to the Cerebral Palsy Association of Manitoba. The most common motor disability in childhood, cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Symptoms include spastic and involuntary movements, lack of coordination, and difficulties with motor skills.