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Differently Abled Woman Shares How She Felt When She Saw a Barbie in Wheelchair

In the post, the woman wrote about finding the doll in a toy store and how it moved her that she started to cry in the store.

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Updated:August 27, 2019, 6:22 PM IST
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Differently Abled Woman Shares How She Felt When She Saw a Barbie in Wheelchair
The picture of two barbie dolls sitting on wheelchairs. posted by DH Lora. (Gin and Lemonade)
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An experience of a woman seeing the wheelchair-using Barbie doll is going viral on social media with many discussing on how such toys help.

The Facebook post is of Lorna DH, who runs a blog named Gin and Lemondade. She describes the blog as "a disability lifestyle and parenting blog, sharing my adventures fighting ableism, promoting accessibility, and picking up all the toys in my house”.

In the post, DH Lorna wrote about finding the doll in a toy store and how it moved her that she started to cry in the store.

Along with a picture of two dolls sitting on wheelchairs, at the toy store shelf, DH Lorna wrote, "Because I finally found a wheelchair user Barbie. I’ve never had a Barbie, but I bought one today.”

Explaining her own experience as a child, DH Lorna went on to write, "When I was a kid, an old neighbor knocked on our door with a Barbie in a leotard. She suggested to my mother that it would inspire me to walk unaided. If I tried hard enough. As if my disabled body wasn’t good enough. As if my wheelchair wasn’t cool enough."

"The neighbor walked away, mystified that her idea wasn’t graciously accepted. And I’ve never forgotten that moment,” she adds.

DH Lorna said she had cried in the aisles of the toy store because “representation matters”.

“My point is, my wish is, kids will finally get to see that we don’t need to work ourselves out of our wheelchairs to be seen. We matter as we are,” she wrote.

Written by DH Lorna and posted on her Facebook page on August 24, the post had already over received 48 thousand likes and has been shared over 30 thousand times.

Many users commented on the emotive post and spoke about the importance of representation when it comes to physical disability. Some even shared their own stories of disability. Here are some reactions:

"That is exactly how my daughter felt when the first plus sized Barbie came out. She asked me for her...the first Barbie she ever asked for. I took a picture of her holding her doll, beaming a bright smile. To all the scoffers...it does matter. Quite a bit," Facebook user Kerry Stephens commented.

Another user Melissa Mucha Johnson wrote, "My parents had gotten me the loving you Barbie for Christmas when it was out back in 80’s. Very stunning! The thing is, I was in a wheelchair back when I was 6 in 1981 when I just had a massive stroke with doctors coming from all over. Believing I would make it past a month. Where my entire right side was paralyzed and couldn’t speak. Needed to relearn how to walk and talk again. Epilepsy began when I was 12. Here I am at 44! Making the best of life. Married and I’ve had 2 children which are teenagers. I’ve overcame a lot with many challenges throughout my life."

Kaz Hunkin, a Facebook user commented on the post and wrote, "I felt the same the first time I saw barbie had an edition with an is ostomy and about time. Barbie show represent everyone. X just wish more healthy "average" people would buy them to share and learn about all disabilities x."

Another user Chasity Gage wrote, "This isn’t the first wheelchair barbie! My mom had one in the box when i was growing up."

A Facebook user Caitlin Givens took to the comment section and wrote, "I just bought this for my daughter for her 4th birthday. So great!"

Mattel has incorporated the wheelchair-using Barbie as a part of the company’s fashionista line in an attempt to create more inclusive toys. Other dolls that Mattel has included in its Fashionista line include more realistic body types and braided hair and one with a prosthetic leg which debuted in June.

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