The times they are a-changin’, and that goes for the dolls that kids play with as well. Long gone are the days when a child’s only options were the standard Barbie and Ken. And dolls got even more inclusive recently when Mattel, the company that makes Barbies, launched a gender-neutral doll collection.
This new line of toys from Mattel is meant to erase existing preconceived notions about what gender means and how it is ingrained into us from a very young age. Kim Culmone, the Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design said, “Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels.” The line is called Creatable World.
First off, the dolls come in a variety of skin colors. They can be styled with a variety of hairstyles, different clothes, and accessories such as sunglasses. TIME magazine noted that the “lips are not too full, the eyelashes not too long and fluttery, the jaw not too wide. There are no Barbie-like breasts or broad, Ken-like shoulders.”
In recent years, millennial parents have voiced their grievances about gender stereotypes in toys, and it seems like big companies such as Mattel are listening. The new, gender-neutral dolls are 11″ tall and they sell for $29.99 each. The official slogan for the new product is “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”
It will be interesting to see how these products are received by the public and if other companies will follow Mattel’s lead. Stay tuned.