‘Orange Is The New Black’ actress Laverne Cox has made history as toy maker Mattel’s first ever transgender Barbie doll. They didn’t just slap a wig on Ken either – it’s an actual, original, transgender Barbie!
In a statement given to Page Six, Cox said:
‘I can’t wait for fans to find my doll on shelves and have the opportunity to add a Barbie doll modelled after a transgender person to their collection.’
The 49-year-old believes the doll will show kids that ‘there’s hope and possibility for them to be themselves’:
‘What excites me most about her being out in the world is that trans young people can see her and maybe get to purchase her and play with her, and know that there’s a Barbie made by Mattel, for the first time, in the likeness of a trans person.
That in this environment where trans kids are being attacked, that this can also be a celebration of transness, and also a space for them to dream, understand and be reminded that trans is beautiful. That there’s hope and possibility for them to be themselves.’
Naturally there’s lots of debate about this on social media with some celebrating a progressive and historic moment in Barbie history and others claiming it’s problematic psychological programming that’s being forced onto children.
Should be interesting to see the aesthetic of transgender barbies beyond this, seeing as this one is based on a likeness of Laverne Cox. Would it maybe have been smarter to release a regular Barbie, and slap ‘transgender’ on the packaging or something? Regular Barbie with trans-themed clothing or flag or something? Perhaps assigning any Barbie as trans or cis is counter-productive – after all, they’re just dolls. Their identity can be whatever the child makes them. But hey, I guess it’s all about marketing at the end of the day…
For your first look at Margot Robbie as Barbie as she replaces Amy Schumer in the upcoming Hollywood blockbuster, click HERE.