Ivy Kimble, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome from Chicago, was included in an October American Girl product catalogue.
The October American Girl catalogue shows off what’s new in the world of accessories and products in time for the holidays. Kimble models a matching red dress along with another child and an American Girl baby doll. Kennedy Garcia was the first model with Down syndrome to be included in American Girl’s advertising.
American Girl, which is now owned by Mattel, started in 1986 under Pleasant Company. Since then, the line of classic toys has expanded to be more inclusive, including creating hearing aids, an insulin pump for kids with diabetes, wheelchairs, service dogs and crutches. According to a petition created by a mom whose daughter has Down syndrome, however, the company has never made an American Girl doll with Down syndrome.
Ivy’s mom, Kristin Kimble, told ABC7 in an interview that including children with Down syndrome in print is one step toward better representation overall. According to a 2015 U.K. study on diversity in advertising, only 0.06% of advertising included people with disabilities.
“I have four girls and to have one of them in the [American Girl] catalogue is every mother’s dream,” Kristin Kimble said, adding:
But especially having a child with Down syndrome, there’s not a lot of print or media with a lot of kids with Down syndrome. So it’s a big deal for her. I mean, she’s a cute little girl and she has Down syndrome and she’s in the catalogue. We’re proud.
Ivy Kimble joins other models and influencers with Down syndrome, including Jack Brumpton, Kate Grant, Lauren Potter and Sofia Sanchez, among others. Kristin Kimble said she hopes the trend toward disability inclusion in advertising continues.
“For us, we want to keep seeing kids of all abilities out there in print,” she said. “And I love that these companies are trying to make the conscious effort to continue to put them in print. My hope is that … it stops being a conscious effort and it just becomes natural. They’re just seen everywhere.”
The Mighty reached out to American Girl for comment but has yet to hear back.
Updated Nov. 5, 2019