Actor Laverne Cox wants the first transgender Barbie to inspire kids of all gender identities to dream big

Actor Laverne Cox wants the first transgender Barbie to inspire kids of all gender identities to dream big

The doll was created in honour of the Emmy-winning actor and transgender rights activist ahead of her 50th birthday.
27 May, 2022

Gone are the days Barbie was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed adherent to traditional standards of beauty. Today, Barbie comes in all shapes, sizes, colours and identities. Mattel, the American toy company that owns Barbie, just launched its first transgender doll and she's inspired by Orange Is the New Black actor Laverne Cox.

Growing up, the Emmy-winning actor was shamed for wanting a Barbie. Cox claimed ownership over her story, went to therapy and years later finally bought herself a doll. "I went out and bought a Barbie doll, played with her and dressed her — it was a way for me to heal my inner child," she told BBC, adding that her mother later sent her a Barbie for Christmas.

The transgender rights activist shared why the doll was so important, not just for her personally but also in the big picture. "It's incredibly meaningful for me to have my Barbie doll for so many reasons," she said. "I hope that kids of all gender identities can look at this Barbie and dream."

She explained that playing with dolls was not a mindless activity but one that engaged the mind with stories, widening the realm of possibilities for a child. "The space of play, playing with dolls, the space of creating worlds with dolls is that space of dreaming. And now kids get to dream with a Laverne Cox Barbie, the first transgender Barbie — that is a beautiful space of dreaming and possibility."

The Laverne Cox doll is part of Barbie's Tribute Collection — released ahead of Cox's 50th birthday — that launched in 2021 and recently honoured the Queen of England in the year of her Platinum Jubilee with a doll to commemorate the monarch's 70 years on the throne.

Mattel has been in an evolution phase over the last couple of years and is working hard to be inclusive and realistically represent the population. The company has added different body types, skin colours and even launched gender neutral dolls. Additionally, it introduced a line of role model Barbies casting light on female astronauts and scientists, historic figures like civil rights activist Rosa Parks and pioneering sports stars, including hijab-wearing fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad.

"Barbie knows that representation matters and is committed to continuing to increase diversity across collections, so that more people can see themselves reflected," the company said in a statement.


Salman Shahid May 27, 2022 01:32pm
I wonder where would this appropriation stop? Under this so-called diversity and inclusion mantra, why are we trying to confuse genuine diversity and inclusion concerns like racism, women empowerment etc. And most importantly, why expose and eventually confuse children with such forced feeding concepts of gender identity at such a tender age?
Ahmed May 27, 2022 01:53pm
Don't spoil our children. Keep this filth away from them. There are enough problems already.
Farhan Baig May 27, 2022 02:32pm
jq May 27, 2022 02:37pm
how is a trans barbie different from a regular barbie? how will a kid be able to tell the difference? late stage capitalism making money off of gender identities.
jg May 27, 2022 04:01pm
you dont have to force it down peoples throats. yes we know these people exist. yes they are humans but to force it down childrens throats is bit extreme. leave it to these peoples bedrooms why make a poster out of it.
MG May 27, 2022 04:06pm
When can be a fully covered burkha clad Barbie?
Rizwan May 27, 2022 04:27pm
I don't think little children care about all this nonsense that adults have created in the name of diversity.
FAZ May 27, 2022 04:30pm
@Salman Shahid To confuse them.
FAZ May 27, 2022 04:33pm
If i am not wrong, majority of transgenders are people with gender identity issues due to various social and home based problems. These people have no physical issues. This seems like a push to increase that problem!
nk May 27, 2022 08:50pm
It is very unfortunate that our media blindly follows the west and cast and impose the news from the west upon us. Do we need this news even?
nk May 27, 2022 08:52pm
Can the new outlet heed on the comments below. Please do not force others ideology.
Abs UK May 28, 2022 06:15am