Mattel, the makers of Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Uno, has officially introduced the first ever transgender barbie doll to their collection.
The new doll is based on popular transgender TV actress Laverne Cox, best known for her roles on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black and CBS’s Doubt.
She said that she quit playing with Barbie dolls for years until her therapist reintroduced her to them to deal with her feelings about her mom and how her mom didn’t accept her as a child.
“I was telling my therapist how I was really shamed by my mother when I was a kid when I wanted to play with a Barbie doll but I was denied. And I had a lot of shame and trauma about that,” Cox said.
“And my therapist said to me, ‘It is never too late to have a happy childhood.’ She said, ‘Go out and buy yourself a Barbie and play with her. There’s a little kid that lives inside of you. Give her space to play.’ And I did.”
Laverne said that after she started playing with the toys as an adult, she spoke to her mother about her shaming the actress as a child. After they spoke, she said her mother started buying them for her. “My mother bought me a Barbie doll. And on my birthday, my mother bought me another Barbie doll. For the next several years, she would always give me Barbies,” Cox said.
“Barbie has been a really healing experience for me as an adult and I hope Barbie fans of all ages can find healing and inspiration in this doll,” Cox claimed as the ultimate reason she created her doll.
Laverne Cox also released a statement explaining the logic of her transgender Barbie.
“It’s been a dream for years to work with Barbie to create my own doll,” the statement begins. “I can’t wait for fans to find my doll on shelves and have the opportunity to add a Barbie doll modeled after a transgender person to their collection.”
She also expressed her desire for young kids to find inspiration in her doll. “I hope that people can look at this Barbie and dream big like I have in my career. The space of dreaming and manifesting is such a powerful source and leads you to achieve more than what you originally thought was possible,” the actress concluded.
It is worth noting that no Barbie products actually have any discernible genitals. The new doll is currently available from online retailers for $39.
Do you think this will become a popular barbie doll? Would you have known it was transgender if they hadn’t told you?