Kids & Family

Toddler Surprised With Doll That Looks Like Her

Her reaction will make your heart grow three sizes.

When 2-year-old Ella Rogers got a new Barbie doll for Christmas, her smile was as big as the box.

The reason why? The doll is in a wheelchair, just like her.

Ella's mom bought her a Fashionista barbie who uses a wheelchair. Lacey Brown-Rogers/Facebook

Ella was born with Spina Bifida, a birth defect that occurs when the spine and spinal cord don't form properly. As a result, she is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair to get around.

"She is paralyzed mid chest down. She's had several fractures of her legs, just due to low muscle tone and just not the bone density that she needs," Ella's mom, Lacey Brown-Rogers told Inside Edition.

Here's another story about a little girl's reaction when she sees herself in a beauty ad: Four-Year-Old Sees Herself in Beauty Ad Featuring A Disabled Woman

Despite her disability, Lacey says that her daughter is just like any other toddler. So, when she saw Mattel's new line of 'Fashionista' Barbie dolls, she knew she had to get one for Ella for Christmas.

Barbie Fashionista dolls were introduced in 2009 and they come in a variety of skin tones and body shapes. In 2019, Mattel added a new line of dolls with disabilities, including one that uses a wheelchair and another with a prosthetic leg.

Mattel came up with the Fashionista line of dolls to promote diversity. @JGaribayStyle

"This year our Barbie line will include dolls reflecting physical disabilities in order to better represent the people and the world kids see around them," Kim Culmone, Mattel's global head of design told Disability Scoop. "Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is a critical component of our design process and we are proud that today's kids will know a different image and experience of the brand."

Even though Ella is non-verbal, she couldn't hide her excitement when her mom gave her the doll.

"Ella is just like any other child. She is non-verbal but she communicates through sign language and she understands everything you're saying," Lacey said.

"To know that she was included with a Barbie in a wheelchair is incredible, because it's someone just like her."

After Lacey shared a video to Facebook of her daughter's sweet reaction to the doll, the comments and likes started flooding in. Mattel even took notice and sent a few more dolls to Ella.

"Everybody has reached out and they want to hear our story and we are just average people," Lacey added. "It's amazing. I never thought it would go as far as it has."

Kudos to Mattel for making dolls that promote diversity. We're sure they've already made a huge difference for kids who don't often see dolls that look like them, just like Ella.

How can you start something good?

You can check out Mattell's complete line of Fashionista barbies here.

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