A mum has revealed she got “all teary” after spotting dolls with Down Syndrome for sale at Kmart Australia.
Brodee, who is mum to three-year-old Elijah, took to Facebook to share her excitement about the find, with her post quickly going viral and other Kmart fans calling the inclusive product “amazing”,“beautiful” and “best thing they have ever done”.
“Kmart you are the best,” Brodee captioned a screenshot of the Baby Charlie with Down Syndrome dolls she found on Kmart’s website for just $15.
Speaking to Yahoo Lifestyle, Brodee says she actually bought her cousin a doll with Down Syndrome features for $100 last year.
“As soon as I saw the dolls online I actually got all teary,” she tells us.
“To see Kmart selling them for so much cheaper they’ll be brought more all across Australia.”
Plenty of other Kmart shoppers agreed, with the post getting hundreds of comments and shares.
“Incredible for inclusion. May make children feel safer and more confident. Thank you for selling these Kmart,” one person wrote.
“This is absolutely fantastic that Kmart have finally bought these dolls out, they are adorable,” another commented.
“This is amazing. Well done for promoting diversity,” was another response, while a fourth wrote: “See, representation matters!”
Brodee has been sharing her journey with baby Elijah online since the young mum made headlines three years ago for having her Year 12 formal in the NICU with her baby.
Because Elijah needed surgery for 'duodenal atresia' - a blockage in the bowel - just after being born, they had to stay in the NICU, and so Brodee’s mum Jodie came up with the idea to have a formal for her daughter in the hospital.
Now, the young mum says she is incredibly proud of the store for having dolls with all different disabilities.
“Coming from experience I’ve had kids tell my 3 year old son who also has Down Syndrome that he looks funny, they don’t want to play with him because he’s weird, unkind things like that,” Brodee tells us.
“I’m hoping with these dolls of all different disabilities coming out, it will show how our kids are just like everyone else, just with a little something extra.”
Brodee was then able to finally get her hands on the dolls and shared a photo of Elijah with his new “besties” on Facebook the next day.
“Yay for inclusion,” she wrote.
John Gualtieri, Kmart Retail Director Australia & New Zealand, tells Yahoo Lifestyle the store aims to desig and create products that are meaningful for customers and represent the world we live in.
“We want all of our customers (especially our littlest ones) to be able to find products they can truly relate to; and we’re committed to championing inclusion and diversity to make sure this happens,” John said.
“To evolving and expanding our representation of diversity in our toys and dolls, to more accurately reflect people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, abilities and sexual orientations.
“That’s why we’re so excited to introduce our new range of Down Syndrome dolls.”
John hopes the dolls will help normalise conditions like Down Syndrome, so that people “don't feel different from their friends”.
“We want children to see themselves represented in our doll ranges and we want to help children learn more about people who are different from themselves,” he says.
“We’ve been on a journey with diversity for some time and we’re proud to have increased our representation of diverse dolls in store…but we know there is always more work to be done in this space.”
It’s not the first time Kmart has been praised for its inclusive toys. Earlier this year another mum took to Facebook to share photos of “one super happy boy”.
Emma Evert posted photos of her son Harlen with a Kmart doll that is vision impaired, just like him.
“Kmart absolutely killing it with the new range of inclusive dolls. It is so important that kids with disabilities are represented in TV, books and toys,” she wrote.
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