Laverne Cox is an actress, podcaster, and staunch advocate for LGBTQ rights — and now she’s also a Barbie.
Speaking with People, the “Orange Is the New Black” alum admitted that being recreated as a Barbie doll seems “surreal” to her.
“I can’t believe it. I love her outfit,” Cox says of the new doll, which hits stores this weekend. “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.”
Given the current political climate in the U.S., Cox feels that her Barbie is a lot more than just a toy.
“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 explained. “That there’s hope and possibility for them to be themselves.”
Revealing she was “very involved” in the design process, Cox added, “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 low lights.”
On Wednesday, May 25, Cox introduced her tribute Barbie while appearing on “Today”.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) May 25, 2022
“We are proud to highlight the importance of inclusion and acceptance at every age and to recognize Laverne’s significant impact on culture with a Tribute Collection Barbie,” said Lisa McKnight, executive vice-president and global head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel, said in a statement, adding that the brand “couldn’t be more excited” to partner with Cox on the project.