Laverne Cox Makes History by Inspiring the First Trans Barbie Doll

Laverne Cox just hit a major milestone: becoming a Barbie doll. Mattel, which has previously released dolls based on other inspiring women—there’s an Ashley Graham Barbie, a Zendaya Barbie, etc—included Cox in its Tribute Collection, marking the first time a Barbie doll has been based on a transgender woman.

“It’s been a dream for years to work with Barbie to create my own doll,” Cox said in a statement. “I can’t wait for fans to find my doll on shelves and have the opportunity to add a Barbie doll modeled after a transgender person to their collection. I hope that people can look at this Barbie and dream big like I have in my career.  The space of dreaming and manifesting is such a powerful source and leads you to achieve more than what you originally thought was possible.”

The design of the doll is credited to Carlyle Nuera and features Cox in a red gown over a sparkly catsuit. The doll is currently available for $40.

Courtesy of Mattel

“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,” Cox told People. Referencing the recent spate of legislative and cultural attacks on trans and LGBTQ+ kids, Cox added, “In this environment where trans kids are being attacked…this can also be a celebration of transness, and also a space for them to dream, understand, and be reminded that trans is beautiful.”

The Orange Is the New Black star explained that she was involved creatively with the design and execution of the doll. “I was like, ’Can we make her look more like me? And more African American?’” she said of the feedback she gave the team, adding, “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 low lights.”

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