Release of the Gender Neutral Barbie Doll
November 1, 2019
On Sept. 25, Mattel launched a new gender-inclusive line of dolls with slogans such as “Dolls are for kids” and “Toys will be toys.” The doll, which can be customized to present as feminine, masculine, or anything in between, is designed to make doll play more inclusive.
“When I first saw the dolls, I was so happy because people in real life are so diverse,” Transgender student and Palmetto sophomore Connor Rejda said.
Mattel states on their site that their line is specifically designed to reflect the diversity of the children who play with them, keeping labels out and inviting everyone in. The doll itself comes with a short and long hair option. It also includes a variety of different clothes and comes in six different skin tones.
Mattel has expressed that they created an agender doll purely for greater inclusivity in the doll world, not politics. They’re made to match the diverse children who play with these dolls, representing kids who do not conform to the gender binary.
“What these dolls are doing can only be positive, showing children that it’s okay if they want to wear crazy clothes or cut their hair. It teaches them to accept themselves and others,” Rejda said.
They give children the freedom to choose what to put on the doll, whose body is specifically designed to be neither masculine nor feminine, allowing the player to decide what they want the doll to be.
When creating the doll, Mattel worked with families and children of all gender identities in order to create a doll based on what they wanted to see in the dolls they play with.
The movement to de-gender children’s toys has increased in recent years, with companies like Target and Amazon removing gender labels for toys. The Creatable World™ doll line furthers this movement, allowing children who are gender non-conforming to see themselves in the doll world.
This movement goes beyond the toy world; there are many things students at Palmetto can do to make our school a more accepting place for transgender and gender non-conforming students.
“..I know that any student can be more inclusive towards the LGBTQIA+ community by listening to us when we say you’re hurting us,” Rejda said. “They can educate themselves so we don’t have to explain our existence every single day, because sometimes it gets tiring.”