She was the first ever deaf Strictly Come Dancing contestant, EastEnders character and CBeebies bedtime story’s host. And now Rose Ayling-Ellis has scored another incredible achievement for the deaf community as she stars in the first ever hearing impaired Barbie doll campaign.
She styled her long tresses in a extremely high ponytail as it fell to the one side of her face revealing her hearing aid. The star donned a glamorous palette of makeup including blushed cheeks, a smoky pink eyeshadow and a bold red lipstick.
The actress, who has been deaf since birth, couldn’t contain her smile as she posed alongside the new diverse doll Rose, Barbie & Friends. Rose looked incredible in a purple figure hugging dress which donned a large collar and buttons.
The Strictly Come Dancing champion, who learnt British sign language (BSL) as a young child, explained how ‘thrilled’ she is by the campaign. She said: ‘It’s so important for children to be able to see themselves represented in the toys they play with.
Amazing: The actress, who has been deaf since birth, couldn’t contain her smile as she posed alongside the new diverse doll ‘Rose, Barbie & Friends’, on Tuesday. The EastEnders actress held up a brunette doll who also sported a high ponytail revealing the behind-the-ear hearing aid.
‘When I was little, I would draw hearing aids onto 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!’
Barbie have been diversifying their line of dolls to celebrate a broader view of beauty enabling children to play with more dolls that represent themselves in the diverse world. Lisa McKnight, executive vice president and global head of Barbie and Dolls, Mattel, Inc. said: ‘The Barbie brand wholeheartedly believes in the power of representation.
The brand have brought out other new dolls from Ken doll with vitiligo, new doll with a prosthetic limb and doll with a wheelchair. Barbie have also allowed children to have the choice what skin tones, eye colours, hair colours and textures, body types, disabilities, and fashions their doll has.
‘We are committed to continuing to introduce dolls featuring a range of skin tones, body types and disabilities to reflect the diversity kids see in the world around them.
‘It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion.’
According to Gov UK, in the UK there are 11 million people that are deaf or hard of hearing and the doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids was highly requested for children.
Leading educational audiologist and hard of hearing advocate Dr. Jen Richardson said: ‘I’m honoured to have worked with Mattel to create an accurate reflection of a doll with behind-the-ear hearing aids.
‘As an educational audiologist with over 18 years of experience working in hard of hearing advocacy, it’s inspiring those who experience hard of hearing reflected in a doll. ‘I’m beyond thrilled for my young patients to see and play with a doll who looks like them.’
Diversifying: Barbie have also allowed children to have the choice what skin tones, eye colours, hair colours and textures, body types, disabilities, and fashion their doll has. Earlier this year, Rose detailed her battle to have sign language made into a registered language and given legal status in the UK.
The actress was also said to be in the running to be awarded an MBE for her hard work in raising awareness for the deaf community. A source told The Mirror: ‘She is now in the frame for a gong for services to the deaf community, thanks to her ballroom triumph on the BBC’s Strictly.
‘Her performances – including one with a silent section – sent enrolments for sign-language courses soaring.’ They added: ‘Her success on Strictly shone a light on the deaf community in a way that surpassed everyone’s expectations.
‘Not only did she raise awareness about the challenges deaf people face, she was a true inspiration for them – particularly young people. She really did break down boundaries.’