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Izzy Wheels has teamed up with Barbie to create four-limited edition wheelchair covers to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the global doll brand.

The company was created by Irish sisters Ailbhe and Izzy Keane in order to provide customised wheelchair spoke guards, and has gone from strength to strength since it's origin.

The sisters have said their new collaboration with Barbie is "a dream come true", according to RTE. The doll manufacturer launched a new range featuring dolls with disabilities.

Four UK-based fashion designers and artists created the wheel covers, which are available in sizing for any manual wheelchair and in a special Barbie-scale edition for the Barbie wheelchair doll.

Ailbhe said: "Our mission with Izzy Wheels is to challenge negative associations with wheelchairs and let users celebrate their individuality by personalising their source of independence.

"We want to show the world that wheelchairs can be so much more than a medical device, they can be a piece of artistic self-expression."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Ailbhe added;

"Fashion and fun are at the heart of what we do, and we're thrilled to work with talented designers to pay homage to Barbie in her 60th year and celebrate dolls with even more diversity.

"This is a dream collaboration for us because Izzy and I were huge Barbie fans as little girls."

Izzy was born with Spina Bifida and is paralysed from her waist down, and the company began when Ailbhe designed wheelchair covers for her sister for an NCAD project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Izzy told RTE that she was over the moon at the idea of little girls and boys with disabilities having a realistic doll to play with;

"Having a Barbie in a wheelchair meant so much to me as a little girl, and I love that a whole new generation of kids with disabilities can play with a Barbie that represents them."

Izzy Wheels has been featured in some of the world's most noteworthy publications, including Vogue, Cosmopolitan and TechCrunch. 

Izzy and Ailbhe were also the first Irish people to be asked to take over Instagram's official account and were named in the Forbes '30 under 30' list of rising entrepreneurs.

The Barbie-inspired wheel covers are available on the Izzy Wheels website, whilst the Barbie with Wheelchair dolls are available from Irish and UK toy stores.

The covers are €139, with Annu Kilpeläinen, Hattie Stewart, Malika Favre and Art School designing the range. "If you can't stand up, stand out!", as the gals themselves say.

Feature image: Izzy Wheels/Instagram/@izzywheels

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Oh Nicki/Barbie/Chun-Li/Onika or whatever it is that you prefer to be called.

While I respect a woman who infiltrated and somehow dominated the male rap game, I  have some MAJOR issues to discuss. Yes, we all danced to Starships back in the day, but it's time to get real.

Our roast beef with the rap queen includes having a convicted murderer and sex offender as her new beau, collaborating with a gang member who used a naked 13-year-old girl in his music video, and the Asian stereotyping. 

While Minaj has been praised and lauded for her ability to remain powerful and confident in an industry which, in general, uses completely misogynic and homophobic lyrics to perpetuate toxic masculinity, there are other cards at play here.

Specifically her consistent collaborations and relationships with violent men.

The internet has descended into chaos on Monday over the Instagram posts which Minaj uploaded of her new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The controversy over her new Instagram-official relationship was predominantly due to his criminal record; TMZ are claiming that Petty is a registered sex offender with at least two convictions under his belt.

Prosecutors claimed that he attempted to force a girl into engaging in intercourse with him using a sharp object in 1995, when he was 15 and the victim was 16.

This led to a first-degree attempted rape conviction and his name stuck on the sex offender list for life, seeing as he is 'moderately' likely to be a repeat-offender. Yeah… that's pretty damn scary.

Minaj's new man served almost four years in a NYC state prison for the attempted rape, and served another seven years for a first-degree manslaughter conviction after he shot a man several times.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oh they wanna talk? Let’s give’m smthn to talk about.  *Shania voice*

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On her account, Nicki was forced to disable the comments section after her fans understandably went into absolute meltdown.

Instead of addressing the whole problematic debacle, she captioned the post; "Oh they wanna talk? Let's give them something to talk about." Um, okay, why don't we talk about safety? Like, not dating a criminal?

Sexual violence and domestic assault is still rife in society, with Times Up and the #MeToo movement only showing the tip of Hollywood's iceberg.

The music industry has it's own qualms to tackle regarding violence against women; R Kelly remains the most notorious example of alleged predators who are still being given a platform.

When Chris Brown viciously attacked Rihanna in 2009, his career continued to thrive, despite the outrage and shock which ensued when graphic images of Rihanna went live all over the world.

The reaction to XXXTenacion's death, instead of focusing on the fact that he admitted to stabbing nine people, and was on trial the week of his murder for assaulting his PREGNANT ex-girlfriend, the response was to mourn him as a hero.

The ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala's harrowing testimony was obtained by Pitchfork, and detailed a pattern of intense psychological, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and assault by XXXTenacion.

Nicki could have criticised such a problematic man in her own industry, or even have kept quiet, but she expressed her sorrow at his passing instead;

“XXXTentacion may not have been the biggest artist, but his murder hurt us like we knew him, or like we were the biggest fan.” 

Of course, none of this is Nicki Minaj's fault. That goes without saying, yet her continued support for infamously harmful men such as Tekashi69, Kenneth Petty and XXXTenacion needs focus.

The Young Money artist was in a relationship previously with hip-hop mogul Nas, who had an extremely toxic relationship with R&B legend Kelis. The Milkshake singer recently claimed that Nas abused her during their marriage, and that Rihanna played a part in their divorce.

While these claims haven't been proven, it does appear to be a pattern that Minaj enters relationships with controversial male figures, who seem to embody toxic masculinity.

Her latest collaboration with Tekashi69 is another bone of contention, her defence of a man who is since imprisoned on racketeering charges, possession of firearms and armed robbery. 

Tekashi69 legitimately pleaded guilty to being involved in a 2015 sex act with a 13-year-old girl, which he filmed and posted online, so there's no denying his criminal scumbag status.

Yet Nicki Minaj collaborates with him on their hit single FeFe and on another track for his new album, Dummy Boy. The lack of concern is rather alarming, TBH. 

"Danny, I love you and am praying for you, your Mother, daughter & her Mom during this time," Minaj said in an Instagram caption dedicated to the rap artist following his arrest.

Many of her fans are presumably young and highly impressionable, who see the rapper as an influence whose actions are worth paying attention to, hence the concern over willingness to align herself with harmful men.

Issues with race and homophobia have also followed Minaj throughout her career, most recently in regards to her latest album Queen.

The rap goddess was accused of homophobia following the release of song lyrics on her new musical offering, with lines consistently using slurs such as 'sissies' and 'f*ggots'.

LGBTQ+ advocates criticised Minaj's choice of words on Twitter;

“I am a gay man who grew up being taunted by words like ‘fag,’ ‘homo,’ ‘sissy,’ and ‘fairy,’” wrote Mark Zustovich.

“These are more than just words that offend and deeply hurt people who identify or who are struggling to identify as LGBTQ — they are designed to make boys and men feel ‘less than’ or feminine, as if having feminine characteristics is something shameful. On the contrary, we as men should be embracing that more.”

Let's not forget the Chun Li Challenge, which clearly perpetuated Asian stereotypes in pop culture.

The #ChunLiChallenge went viral, and featured rapper Asian Doll (who isn't Asian…) sporting chopsticks in her hair — an act which is considered extremely disrespectful in Japan.

The rapper has referenced geisha and samurai in previous tracks, and Nicki (real name Onika) has also cosplayed as a “Harajuku Barbie” persona.

The use of harmful rhetoric in rap is well-documented, including within the albums of Drake, Chingy and Childish Gambino.

Asian writer David Yi commented that;

"The way people are interpreting the #ChunLiChallenge with signifiers like double buns and chopsticks as hair accessories is yet another instance of people co-opting another culture with impunity."

*Sighs* It doesn't take much to do some research into other cultures for the purpose of understanding and respecting them, especially when you have millions of fans from that part of the world, Nicki.

All in all, I question Nicki Minaj's disturbing willingness to align herself, collaborate and have romantic relationships with violent men, as well as her ignorance of other cultures and sexualities.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She's 35, she's a grown woman and can date whoever she wants, but she must remember the power which she has over her fans.

Her influence is unquestionable- he’s appeared on nearly 100 singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, each of her albums have amassed five million sales and she has become a household name, despite working in a world that degrades women constantly. 

Not to mention society's obsession with only supporting one female rapper at a time, either Nicki or Cardi B, despite hundreds of male rappers saturating the music industry.

Yet the question has to be asked, is Nicki Minaj contributing to the normalisation of male predators and cultural appropriation?

At the moment, she's the farthest thing from an inspiration to me. 

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Barbie has just gotten WAY more inclusive, after creating dolls who are more representative of the real women and young children who play with her.

The company Mattel are making strides since they first opened in 1959 with bleach blonde Barbie with high-heels and ridiculous body proportions.

The brand are making new additions to the range which feature Barbies who use wheelchairs and with prosthetic legs. 

Barbie has been given high-achiever careers as a vet, computer engineer and doctor, as well as featuring dolls who are diverse, more curvacious and black.

Two new dolls with disabilities will be added to it's Fashionista line on February 11, with the company articulating that it hopes the collection will broaden definitions of beauty.

“As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion,” the company said in a statement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Mattel’s vice president of Barbie Design, Kim Culmone, explained the latest additions were a response to phenomenal consumer demand.

"We’re going to be introducing a doll in a wheelchair and a doll representing physical disabilities. She has a prosthetic limb," Culmone told Teen Vogue

"There will be additional body sizes — a Barbie with a smaller bust and less-defined waist. A wheelchair or doll in a wheelchair was one of the most requested items through our consumer … hotline. It's important to us to listen to our consumers."

Customers are still requesting Barbies with more impairments or disabilities, such as Down's Syndrome or blindness (hence the service dog).

Culmone also stated that the company worked with a team at UCLA and with 12-year-old Jordan Reeves, who has a prosthetic arm, to make the brand new dolls as realistic as possible. 

Reeves suggested that the prosthetic limb should be removable, giving the company one of their “first big ahas”, according to Culmone. "That’s not necessarily something we would have realised how important it would be to someone living with this experience."

Feature image: Teen Vogue

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Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie are hitting international screens in their roles as Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

The 24-year-old Irish actress has just opened up about the hugely emotional experience of finally coming face-to-face with co-star Margot Robbie in costume.

Ronan was candid while visiting The Graham Norton Show, explaining that the duo were kept apart for weeks while they settled into their roles in the flick, Mary, Queen of Scots.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mary Queen of Scots (@maryqueenmovie) on

The actress explained: "Mary and Elizabeth never actually met so we took a bit of artistic license and lied about what really happened."

"We only met once in the film and because of that Margot and I stayed apart so we didn't know what each other looked like. When we finally met for the scene we cried. It was very emotional," she continued.

The Lady Bird actress also spoke about her time working with animals on the set of the period piece, which proved challenging.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"The horse I had to ride had starred with Wonder Woman and was very good looking and he knew it," she said. "He just wouldn't do anything, he wouldn't move."

"Then I realised that every time someone shouted 'rolling' he would do a little cough. He was actually nervous!" she added.

Ronan plays the titular Mary, who was Queen of France at just 16 and widowed at 18, and defied pressure to remarry and returns to her native Scotland to try and take the throne.

But Scotland and England fall under the rule of her cousin Elizabeth I, who was played by Margot Robbie.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Margot Robbie(@robbiemcrgot) on

Speaking of the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth on ITV's This Morning, Ronan said;

"Elizabeth, is this shell of her former self – she’s completely not human, Mary is bloody and dirty, it’s two women meeting who have been pushed to the very limit."

"We asked for it (the separation), it was a cool experiment to stay apart, we didn't know what the other person looked like… we were revealed to each other the shock of seeing the visual of what they looked like," she continued.

"How we felt as actors after three weeks of being kept apart was how Mary and Elizabeth would have felt, it gave us so much adrenaline and emotion."

Photo image credit: evoke.ie

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Actress Margot Robbie is set to earn HUGE praise for her role in Mary, Queen of Scots, and now the Australian is set to star in a totally different movie.

She's officially signed on to produce and star in a live-action BARBIE movie, E! News reported today.

Warner Bros. and Mattel have struck up a partnership to bring the franchise to the cinemas in it's first ever live-action take on the famous doll.

Chairman of Warner Bros, Toby Emmerich, commented on Margot's new role in the project;

"Margot is the ideal producer and actress to bring Barbie to life on screen in a fresh and relevant way for today's audiences." Robbie intends on co-producing the movie under LuckyChap Entertainment.

The 28-year-old actress released a statement expressing her delight at playing the role of Barbie;

"Playing with Barbie promotes confidence, curiosity and communication throughout a child's journey to self-discovery. Over the brand's almost 60 years, Barbie has empowered kids to imagine themselves in aspirational roles from a princess to president."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She continued; "I'm so honoured to take on this role and produce a film that I believe will have a tremendously positive impact on children and audiences worldwide. I can't imagine better partners than Warner Bros. and Mattel to bring this film to the big screen."

Tom Ackerley, Margot's husband, as well as her business partner are also co-producers. Mattel took back the rights after the option passed on Sony's deal, and Robbie signed a first-look negotiation with Warner Bros in 2016.

Chairman and CEO of Mattel, said in a statement; "Barbie is one of the most iconic franchises in the world and we are excited to partner with Warner Bros Pictures and Margot Robbie to bring her to life on the big screen. We look forward to building on this collaboration with Warner Bros Pictures as we tell the stories of our beloved brands."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Amy Schumer was previously roped in to portray the titular doll she dropped out in 2017, saying in a statement, "Sadly, I'm no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts. The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners. I'm bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen." 

A director or release date has yet to be assigned. 

We can't wait to see what Margot does with this role, she really can be anything she wants. Barbie inspo 101.

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Christmas is only weeks away (eeek) which means that Santa is coming soon and that has us thinking – about pressies, obvs.

There is so much sh*t we wanna get, and then we found out that an ode to our childhood existed in a make-up palette.

Say hello to the collab of dreams – NCLA Beauty and Barbie.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Check out our story for the full reveal of the NCLA x Barbie collection! #nclaxbarbie

A post shared by NCLA (@nclabeauty) on

NCLA, a Los Angeles vegan beauty brand have joined forces with Mattel for a stunning all-pink collection featuring Barbie-themed nail polish, cuticle oil, lippies and nail wraps. 

And if the nostalgia wasn't enough already, all of the products are presented in ‘90s-themed patterns.

NCLA CEO Elin Dannerstedt said, “My vision for this collaboration was to take you back to the ‘90s, playing with Totally Hair Barbie or Malibu Barbie or even just regular Barbie.” 

She continued, “Every single detail is created after a real Barbie pattern, quote, and not to mention, a miniature Barbie nail polish box! Can you even?”

The cuticle oil actually smells like bubblegum and the nail wraps come in four cute styles – a Saved By the Bell-esque print, a classic Barbie print, a playful palm tree pattern and a ’90s design.

And it's limited edition so grab it while it's hot. 

ALL together now, ''I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world...''

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Barbie's the kind of doll that doesn't need a last name.

We've been so familiar with the iconic toy that we always assumed she just didn't have a surname because, well, she's famous enough to get by with just the first name.

Like Britney and Madonna, she can go by the one moniker.

Well, apparently she isn't just 'Barbie' – people were surprised to find out on National Siblings Day that the beloved toy's last name is…

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, after creator Ruth Handler's daughter Barbara.

Barbie was first introduced in 1959, with the Ken doll joining her in 1961.

Ken, named after Ruth's son Kenneth, actually has a surname as well: Kenneth Carson.

Twitter users were shocked by the fact that their favourite childhood doll actually had a surname.

 

 

 

Yep, we are still trying to cope with this earth-shattering revelation, too.

Also, this is the perfect type of pub quiz type of fact for us to keep in our back pockets.

Did you know Barbie had a last name?

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Our hopes and dreams are often moulded by what we see as children, from images we notice on the TV to the toys that we used to play with. 

Barbie just announced that they're releasing over a dozen new dolls of incredible female role models in order to show young girls that they can be anything. We love this celebration of heroic women!

The dolls are coming out in honour of International Women's Day tomorrow, Barbie has noted, and they have said on Twitter that 'we are committed to shining a light on empowering female role models past and present in an effort to inspire more girls'.

So who are these wonderful women we'll see as Barbies now? In the realm of sports, we have Olympic snowboarder Chloe Kim, boxing champ Nicola Adams Obe, fencing champion Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic volleyball player Hui Ruoqi, Italian soccer player Sara Gama, and gymnastics champ Gabby Douglas.

As far as the arts go, the legendary Frida Kahlo, filmmaker Patty Jenkins, journalist Martyna Wojciechowska, principal ballerina Misty Copeland, actress and philanthropist Xiaotong Guan, film director Ava Duvernay, prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan, and designer and entrepreneur Leyla Piedayesh are all represented.

As well, Bindi Irwin will have her own doll in recognition of her conservationist efforts. Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, model and body activist Ashley Graham, NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson, and renowned chef Hélène Darroze are all going to be in Barbie form to give little girls diverse role models to look up to.

The campaign also encourages others to share their own heroes with the hashtag #MoreRoleModels.

Some of the women recognised took to social media to share the joy they felt at being represented as Barbies.

Misty Copeland even shared her own role model, writing on Twitter, "Excited that @Barbie is celebrating #InternationalWomensDay by honoring global role models, because you can't be what you can't see. My role model is ballerina Raven Wilkinson. Who is yours? Share with #MoreRoleModels!"

"Ahh! I'm so happy to be honoured as a @Barbie Shero alongside these incredible women! #InternationalWomensDay #Barbie," Chloe Kim tweeted excitedly.

Her Twitter feed certainly made her one of the most relatable athletes during the 2018 Winter Olympics when the 17-year-old shared on the social media site that she wanted ice cream in between qualifying runs.

Patty Jenkins, who made Time's shortlist for 2017 Person of the Year, tweeted, "Congrats to these incredible women. So honoured to share this moment with you!"

We are so proud of these women and happy to celebrate our heroes in the lead-up to International Women's Day!

Who are your role models?

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Stop everything.

Missguided have drawn inspiration from the iconic Barbie doll for their latest collaboration.

The UK-based fashion retailer took to Instagram  to make the announcement earlier today.

Missguided Instagram Stories

The pastel-hued collection will feature 43 must-have pieces including an oversized denim jacket, a baby pink bodysuit and a bomber/skirt co-ord.

What's more, the collaboration also includes loads of Barbie-themed accessories like phone cases, caps and backpacks.

Ranging from approximately €5.00 – €70.00, the Barbie x Missguided collection will become available online from July 13.

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So, Barbie and friends have just updated their wardrobes, and honestly we could probably do with a few fashion tips from the stylish new crew.

The latest Barbie Fashionistas collection features 40 new dolls with seven body types, 11 skin tones, 28 hairstyles and various eye colours for "the ultimate storytelling experience."

The new crew is the most diverse yet, so whether you like your ken dolls with cornrows, freckles or glasses – there's something for everyone.

Barbie also rocks some pretty on-trend hairstyles including, blue, partially shaved and afro. She also comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from small and petite, to tall and curvy.

But it's Ken's new man bun that really got everyone talking.

Not gonna lie, our love for Barbie may have just been rekindled. 

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Amy Schumer was all set to personify one of the world's most beloved children's toys.

However, the comedian has said she is “bummed” she will no longer be able to star in the live-action Barbie flick.

The US comedian was expected to play the lead role in the film, which was set to start shooting this summer.

 

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However, Amy's busy work schedule has caused her to pull out from the flick. 

“Sadly, I’m no longer able to commit to Barbie due to scheduling conflicts," Amy said in a statement to Variety.

“The film has so much promise, and Sony and Mattel have been great partners."

 

A post shared by @amyschumer on

"I’m bummed, but look forward to seeing Barbie on the big screen.”

So are we Amy, so are we. 

Amy is renowned for her fiercely feminist stance and taking pride in her realistic figure, so having her star as Barbie would have put an amazing modern day spin on the classic toy.

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

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Gigi Hadid is officially being immortalised in plastic by Barbie makers Mattel. 

The top model is joining the likes of Ashley Graham, Beyonce and Zendaya, who have all been honoured with their very own Barbie versions of themselves.

 

A photo posted by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) on

Cementing her status as a pop-culture icon, the model is being immortalised wearing her now signature Tommy Hilfiger threads. 

Gigi has just created a capsule collection, Tommy X Gigi, and Barbie is helping to promote the project with the exclusive new toy. 

In snaps shared on Instagram, the dolls are shown roller blading on Venice Beach and posing by the pier, which is where Gigi's Tommy show took place IRL.

 

A photo posted by Barbie® (@barbiestyle) on

"Can’t believe that’s me!!!!!!!” exclaimed the star, in an Instagram caption under a snap of the doll.

With it's wide eyes and arched brows, the doll's resemblance to Gigi is eerily uncanny. 

Fingers crossed that Mattel decides to produce the doll, because we can see this one being snapped up by collectors and Gigi fans alike. 

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