Some 60 years ago, Mattel created Barbie, a doll just about every little girl wanted. Times have changed and Mattel’s latest offering, the Creatable World doll, the world’s first gender-neutral doll.
“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,” Kim Culmone, Senior Vice President of Mattel Fashion Doll Design said.
Available in a variety of skin tones, each doll has short hair and a long-haired wig to change styles as well as a diverse wardrobe including pants, skirt or shorts, three different styles of tops and shoes, and accessories such as hats and sunglasses. As reported by TIME, the 11-inch tall dolls’ “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.”
Major toy manufacturers took note of millennial parents’ dissatisfaction with gender stereotype toys their buying habits influenced Disney to remove “boy” and “girl” labels from their children’s costumes, leaving the decision to children who they would prefer to dress as. Mattel followed the example last year, replacing ‘’boys’’ and ‘’girls’’ toy divisions with a non-gender section.
The Creatable World dolls’ slogan is “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in,” shows the company’s commitment to moving away from gender stereotyping, although it may result in losing a substantial percentage of buyers. A Pew Research survey found 76% of the public supports parents’ steering girls to toys and activities usually associated with boys while 64% support steering boys toward toys and activities traditionally associated with girls.