Laverne Cox has revealed that she will officially be hitting the shelves as Mattel’s latest Barbie Girl.
Laverne, who turns 50 on Sunday, has made leaps and bounds as a transgender person in both the entertainment industry and as a prominent LGBTQIA+ activist.
Cox has been honored as the first transgender Barbie
The Orange Is the New Black actress is officially the latest person to have a Barbie created in their image as part of Mattel’s Barbie Tribute Collection. During her appearance on The Today Show, the Emmy winner described the thought process behind the details of her Barbie’s look.
Her doll, which costs $39 retail, features highlighted hair, smoky eyeshadow, earrings, and clothing items that “peel off” into another outfit so that customers can mix and match the style.
“I love her, and I had so much fun collaborating with everyone at Mattel designing her,” Laverne said about her replica.
She also explained the importance of transgender representation when it comes to children’s toys — such as Barbie dolls.
“I hope all the kids who are feeling stigmatized when their healthcare is being jeopardized, their ability to play in sports, I hope they can see this Barbie and have a sense of hope and possibility. If they don’t see themselves in this Barbie, I hope they know that they can create spaces where they do see themselves, where they are represented, because representation matters.”
The importance of Barbie dolls in Laverne Cox’s childhood
During the toy reveal, Laverne shared Barbies’s big role throughout her life, especially when her mother shamed her as a child for wanting the doll.
“In about 2010, I was talking to my therapist and telling her how I was really shamed by my mother when I was a kid when I wanted to have a Barbie doll and play with a Barbie doll but I was denied it,” she said. “I had a lot of shame and trauma about that and my therapist said to me, ‘It is never too late to have a happy childhood.'”
Cox’s therapist then told her to go out and buy a Barbie doll and let her “inner child” play. After sharing the revelation with her mother, she purchased Laverne her own Barbies for her birthday over the next several years.
“It was like, my mommy finally got me a Barbie! There’s a kid in all of us and I felt so, Barbie’s been a really healing experience for me as an adult and I hope Barbie fans of all ages can find healing and inspiration in this doll.”
Laverne Cox’s Barbie is on sale now for $39 at Walmart, Target, MattelCreations, and Amazon.