Mattel, makers of Barbie, have continued to create dolls that reflect the progressiveness in gender identities in our world today. After releasing Barbies with different skin tones and body shapes, Mattel is now introducing, “Creatable World,” a collection of gender-inclusive Barbie dolls.
“In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them,” a statement from Mattel.
With the slogan, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in,” the new dolls are inclusive to kids with whichever pronoun they prefer (him, her, them, and xem).
According to a Pew study in 2018, 16% of the Gen-X population and 35% of the Gen-Z population say they know someone who identifies as they/them. It’s predicted that with the Generation Alpha population, this projection will continue to increase.
The company had tested the new and improved dolls to 250 families from several different states that included children who identify as either transgender, gender-nonbinary, or gender-fluid. The reactions were mixed as some parents thought the doll pushes a political agenda, and others didn’t want their sons playing with the dolls.
“Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it’s your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours,” Richard Dickson, Mattel’s President tells Time.
He explains that it is their intention of creating a conversation, respecting in any decision you make as a parent to raise your child. They are giving the freedom to children to be comfortable in whatever gender identity they find comfort in whether the parent wants to give them that choice to explore at their age or not.
“…and even more so for the kids that find themselves in that challenging place, if we can make that moment in their life a bit more comfortable, and knowing we created something that makes them feel recognized, that’s a beautiful thing.”