Mattel, Maker Of Barbie, Debuts The First Gender-Neutral Doll
By Yimin Huang, 25 Sep 2019
Mattel, the brand behind Barbie and Ken dolls, is now attempting to be more “inclusive” by coming up with the world’s first gender-neutral doll. It is released on 25 September, with features that are gender ambiguous on purpose, in a series known as the Creatable Doll.
For instance, there are no full lips or long eyelashes, nor prominent jawlines, and no broad shoulders or breasts either. Each doll in the Creatable Series resembles a 7-year-old with short hair. However, users can choose from a range of looks to dress up the doll, such as long locks, hoodies, sneakers, tutus and camo pants, according to Mattel Inc..
Mattel also features a group of children going by a range of pronouns such as him, her, them and even xem in an ad, directly referencing young kids with trans and non-binary identities. The dolls are also tested with 250 families across seven states, including 15 children with non-traditional genders, according to Time.
Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel, saw the gender-neutral doll as the first doll children can find under the Christmas tree that is truly “for anyone.”
However, parents who are making the purchasing choices express concerns over the doll. Some parents in testing groups find the “gender-neutral” branding to be pushing for a political agenda rather than merely selling a product. Others did not like the idea of sons playing with dolls.
Mattel’s president Richard Dickson insisted that how parents “raise kids” is still their own decision, while the doll has been created to “stimulate imaginations” and discussions.
Mattel announced they're releasing gender-neutral dolls. You can change the hair length and clothing presentation from one dolly box??? OBSESSED. But...EITHER no one who worked on this was nonbinary/trans, OR they were left out of the entire vid + article. https://t.co/Yy3cYndbtM pic.twitter.com/3OEw7GfG2G— Dan Owens (@danowensmgmt) September 25, 2019
[via Time, cover image via Mattel]
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