Mattel Launches New Gender-Neutral Dolls

  
Via:  buzz-of-the-orient  •  4 weeks ago  •  10 comments

Mattel Launches New Gender-Neutral Dolls

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Mattel Launches New Gender-Neutral Dolls

By Paolo Zialcita, NPR, September 25 2019

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Mattel's new Creatable World doll Mattel



Mattel's Barbie dolls represented the traditional female image, and preteens embraced the hairstyles, thick eyelashes and spike heels that came with her. But now, Mattel is introducing dolls that let kids form the gender expression of the toy themselves. The doll is fully gender neutral and can be accessorized to be a boy, a girl, neither or both.

The company released six dolls with different skin tones, hair and clothes, calling the doll line  Creatable World . 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 researching the dolls, Mattel spoke to over 250 families with children who identify across the gender spectrum.

Adults who identify as nonbinary didn't have toys like these when they grew up. Molly Woodstock, a gender educator and co-host of the podcast  Gender Reveal , is one of those people.

"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."

Woodstock, who started identifying as nonbinary three years ago, thinks that this kind of representation at a young age could have helped them figure out their gender identity at an earlier age.

On the other hand, Woodstock is hesitant to fully accept the doll, saying that it still has some ways to go before being fully inclusive.

"I really worry that the cultural concept of nonbinary is this singular third androgynous gender, which is what this doll is portraying." Woodstock said. "That's not the reality of a lot of nonbinary people. We can't be liberated from the gender binary if we're just making it a gender ternary."

Woodstock would also like to see the dolls produced with body diversity in mind.

While the number of people who identify as nonbinary is not clear, a  Pew Research Center  study found that a third of people who were born between 1995 to 2015 know someone who goes by gender-neutral pronouns.

Mattel has been criticized for its lack of diversity and unrealistic portrayal of women in the Barbie doll line. The company has taken steps to address this, such as releasing a  hijab-wearing Barbie  and introducing  different body types .


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Buzz of the Orient
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

It will be interesting to see a study about 20 years from now as to any increase in different sexual orientations.  I'm glad I won't be around to see it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
2  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

I had G.I. Joes (the big ones) when I was a kid. Having changed their outfits a few times, I can tell you these things have been gender neutral for a long time. jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
2.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @2    4 weeks ago

I'll bet you knew that Joe stood for Joseph, and not for Josephine.

 
 
 
Freefaller
3  Freefaller    3 weeks ago

Wow I'm glad no one is forcing me to buy these items or I'd be really pissed.  But since they aren't I guess I'll just carry on.

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
3.1  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Freefaller @3    3 weeks ago

Liberals always say things like this. However if one of those barbies was sporting the rebel flag the tone would change now wouldn't it? Even if you don't have to buy one.....

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1.1  Freefaller  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @3.1    3 weeks ago
Liberals always say things like this.

Not sure why you're telling me, but I'll pass your thoughts on to any liberals I meet.

However if one of those barbies was sporting the rebel flag the tone would change now wouldn't it?

I couldn't care less if anyone parades around with a rebel flag in their car, house, or mounted on a pole sticking out of their asses. 

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
3.1.2  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Freefaller @3.1.1    3 weeks ago

My apologies. I think I just didn't get the tone of your comment so I thought maybe it was sarcasm with a liberal slant. I'm still new here so I don't know everyone's style and political preferences. I agree though I don't care what other people do, as long as everyone can do what they want. Seems like that's not always a two way street for some people.

 
 
 
Freefaller
3.1.3  Freefaller  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @3.1.2    3 weeks ago

No worries, we're good

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4  jungkonservativ111    3 weeks ago

Progressives have to make this sort of mental derangement normal at a young age otherwise it's too hard to get adults raised with common sense to go along with it. I am also thankful I am not growing up in the next generations. I feel bad for the children who are nothing but social experiments to their parents.

 
 
 
Suz
5  Suz    3 weeks ago

I am so glad I am not a young mother today.  I would be horrible at this.  This is a very big issue today and I just know I would flunk the test.   All I have is admiration.

 
 
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