Introducing transgender dolls
February 24, 2017
On July 15, 2015, the TLC reality series “I Am Jazz” aired, centering around a 16-year-old transgender teenage girl who had struggled with her gender and sexuality for as long as she could remember. Jennings was born a male, but according to her parents, was set on being a female as soon as she could speak. Now as one of the youngest trans females in history, she has used her widespread publicity to become a spokesmodel for the LQBTQ+ community. Two years later, along with the significant advancement in the LGBTQ+ community comes the release of the first transgender doll.
The Tonner Doll company released the collectible doll in Jennings’ likeness at the New York Toy Fair. The doll will not only look like Jennings, but will also have matching outfits and half the proceeds will be donated to transgender youth through charit. Many people feel that the company took the wrong approach by marketing the doll to younger children; no certain characteristics on the doll distinguish it as a representation of a transgender person. None of the dolls have been made with distinctive male or female reproductive organs.
Among some of the problems presented with the Tonner Doll release, the legal issues may follow. Although the company intended to portray transgender people in a positive, empowering light, parents who do not support the LGBTQ+ community may disagree and feel that the company tried to force this idea into children’s heads.
Other parents may feel as though this will influence children and their mindset as they get older, and will not condone their children playing with this doll. Older consumers have voiced more complaints that to the company as the Jennings Tonner Doll emerges as a tribute to the transgender community.