The ‘Inventing Anna’ actress stresses that her own Barbie doll represents trans kids and serves as reminder that there is ‘hope and possibility’ for them to be themselves.
AceShowbiz –Laverne Cox is welcoming her new age with a very special gift. Days before she turns 50 years old, the “Inventing Anna” actress made history by becoming the inspiration for Mattel’s first-ever transgender barbie.
Speaking about the “surreal” moment to PEOPLE, the four-time Emmy-nominated actress gushed, “I can’t believe it. I love her outfit.” She added, “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.”
Elaborating more, Laverne stated that throughout the making process of the Barbie, she was “very involved” in it. The actress made sure that every detail of it was true to her as Mattel brought the doll to life. “I was like, ‘Can we make her look more like me? And more African American?’ ” she recalled of the design process.
“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,” she added. “And we had a whole conversation about how they can’t do that, but they could do dark low lights.”
Laverne also remembered pitching different ideas for the Barbie’s outfit before deciding on the final look. “I wanted her to wear multiple outfits, but that wasn’t cost effective. You want the doll to be affordable,” she stated, “So I was like, ‘What if she had one outfit that could peel off and become multiple outfits?’ So that’s what we designed and came up with.”
After a lot of discussion and consideration, her version of Barbie was finally dressed in a very Laverne-style. The doll rocked a red corset and tulle skirt, which as the 49-year-old suggested can be peeled off. Underneath it was a silver bodysuit and high-heeled boots. In addition, her hair and makeup were always camera ready.
Iconic brand Mattel launched the doll inspired by Laverne to honor her impact as an avid advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. It also debuted before she celebrated her birthday on Sunday, May 29.
Laverne’s Barbie doll launched during a tense political climate for transgender rights. Aware of the situation, the “Orange Is the New Black” actress stressed that her Barbie became more important than ever to represent trans kids and serve as reminder of hope.
“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,” Laverne divulged. “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,” the Emmy-winning producer went on elaborating. “That there’s hope and possibility for them to be themselves.”
Other than Laverne, Lisa McKnight, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Barbie and Dolls at Mattel, expressed excitement about working on the first-ever transgender barbie with her. “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,” Lisa said to the outlet.
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