In October of 2019, American Girl Dolls’ catalog launched its first issue to include a little girl, Ivy Kimble, who has Down Syndrome. She is seen in the catalogue with the famous red dress in which she shares with her doll that has the same dress. This was really big news for the American Girl Doll product line as they continue to try to be inclusive with people with diverse abilities. Kimble’s mother, Kristin Kimble told WLS-TV that this was a big deal for Ivy. She went on to say, “There’s not a lot of print or media with a lot of kids with Down Syndrome.” This is a step in the right direction to help people feel more included in their community and the world.
The truth is, more companies should be following suit because people with Down Syndrome should be treated like those without it — they deserve dignity and respect just the same as people who do not have Down Syndrome. American Girl told PEOPLE that Ivy was adorable and great to work with and that her photos were beautiful. Companies like American Girl can help end the stigma surrounding people with Down Syndrome. When more companies see their competitors being more inclusive, they will have to follow suit if they want to keep their customer base, especially with our political climate today.
Here is a very short list of some other companies which have promoted inclusivity by showcasing people with Down Syndrome:
People with disabilities want to be captured in the media more often, and with the help of companies like American Girl, people of all abilities will be treated with dignity and respect. Media portrayal of people groups can be very important to public perception of those groups. Other companies have hired people with Down Syndrome as models, too, and together they can help end the stigma that some countries impose on Down Syndrome.