Mega doll company Mattel has launched a new line of Barbies, and they are all gender-neutral.
Barbie has historically been known for emphasizing the traditional female image in its dolls, but this time around, they are giving consumers the ability to express their gender with the dolls they purchase.
The company released its new line, called Creatable World, and included are six dolls with different skin tones, hair types, and clothes. Mattel said that it aims to reflect and celebrate “the positive impact of inclusivity.” “This line allows all kids to express themselves freely, which is why it resonates so strongly with them,” said Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel fashion doll design. “We’re hopeful Creatable World will encourage people to think more broadly about how all kids can benefit from doll play.”
While producing the dolls, Mattel spoke to more than 250 families with children who identified differently across the gender spectrum. Molly Woodstock, a gender educator and co-host of the podcast Gender Reveal, is one of those people, as she said non-binary people did not have the dolls like the new line growing up. “It’s unarguably good that all children are being given the option to play with some sort of doll that doesn’t have a neatly assigned gender or gender roles,” Woodstock said. “Just the social and cultural validation of trans and nonbinary gender identities through this doll feels really powerful.”
The variable doll kits will retail for about $30 and are geared toward children ages 6 and older. The company said it was taken away by the amount of support it received for the line. “There’s room in the toy box for all of them,” spokeswoman Michelle Chidoni told The Times. “We understand that this line may not be something that everyone wants, but we hope that there’s something they can relate to,” Chidoni said. “The intent is to really introduce more kids to doll play. There are developmental benefits to playing with dolls, and if we can get more kids to see themselves in dolls and to play with dolls, that’s a great thing.”