May 27, 2022 5:00:54 pm
Laverne Cox has made history by becoming Mattel’s first-ever transgender Barbie. The actor and LGBTQ rights-advocate, who was last seen in the Netflix series ‘Inventing Anna‘, got this recognition just a few days before her 50th birthday later this week.
On Mattel.com, the company describes Cox as “a four-time Emmy-nominated actress, Emmy-winning producer, and the first transgender woman of colour to have a leading role on a scripted TV show”. The description states she uses her voice “to amplify the message of moving beyond societal expectations to live more authentically”.
The “triple-threat original” doll has been designed by Carlyle Nuera, sculpted to look like a superhero, complete with “a deep red tulle gown gracefully draped over a dazzling, silver metallic bodysuit” and hair “swept into glamorous Hollywood waves” with “dramatic makeup” completing the look.
Cox, who will turn 50, told People magazine that being an inspiration for a Mattel lineup feels “surreal”. “I can’t believe it. I love her outfit. What excites me most about her being out in the world is that trans young people can see her and maybe get to purchase her and play with her, and know that there’s a Barbie made by Mattel, for the first time, in the likeness of a trans person,” she was quoted as saying.
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“I think in an environment where trans children have been used as a political football, when over 250 pieces of anti-trans legislation have been introduced in state legislatures all over the country in 2022 alone, and access to gender-affirming healthcare has been denied by policies signed into law in my home state of Alabama, in Arkansas and other states…That in this environment where trans kids are being attacked, that this can also be a celebration of transness, and also a space for them to dream, understand and be reminded that trans is beautiful,” she told the publication.
The actor continued by saying that there is “hope and possibility for them to be themselves”.
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Per the People report, Cox was “very involved” in every step of the process of bringing this doll to life. “I was like, ‘Can we make her look more like me? And more African American?’ And we had a conversation about highlights and lowlights because I’m blonde most of the time now, but I’m a Black girl, so I need a dark root. And we had a whole conversation about how they can’t do that, but they could do dark lowlights.”
She also shared that as a kid, she wanted to play with Barbie dolls, but her mother refused, because she was assigned male at birth. Life has magically come a full circle for her.
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