Decades after the now-controversial creation of the Barbie doll, Mattel is launching the first gender-neutral doll.
Mattel has recently announced the launch of a doll that can be either a boy, a girl, or neither, standing against binary conceptions of gender. The dolls come with a set of clothes - a tank, shorts, and six items of clothing that make up a long range of masculine or feminine attire. It also includes shoes, accessories and, while the "Creatable dolls" are short-haired, the set also includes a long wig. Creators of the "first gender-neutral doll" have described it as a “doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”
“Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels,” said Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design. The dolls also lack the physiological features that have traditionally identified them as either male or female. They don't clearly feature breasts, like the ones traditionally characterizing Barbie, nor broad shoulders, which Ken dolls have also traditionally carried.
Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel, has said the company found inspiration in “a couple of gender-creative kids," who told them that "they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn’t made for them. This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone."
Mattel might end up alienating some buyers, but it is clearly taking sides with the non-conservative side of the debate surrounding equality and civil rights for the LGBT+ community.
Jonathan Van Ness Stands Up Against Trump's Attempt To Defund Sexual Health Programs
A Crucial Anti-Transgender Lawsuit Has Been Dropped In Win For The LGBT+ Community
15 Photos That Show How Cuba Treats The LGBTQ+ Community