Laverne Cox, an American actress, and LGBTQ+ advocate was the first transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award and the first to be nominated for an Emmy Award since Angela Morely in 1990. She is making history yet again as the first trans-Barbie doll.
Mattel released the collectible Laverne Cox Barbie doll in celebration of Cox’s 50th birthday, which happens to fall right before the start of Pride month. The Barbie is meant to give trans girls a doll that represents them.
The actress worked closely with Mattel and Barbie throughout the process of creating her doll. Cox was there to approve sketches, skin tone samples, and shoes. The doll is dressed in an oxblood red gown draped over a silver metallic bodysuit—a getup based on one of Cox’s red carpet looks.
The Laverne Cox doll is part of Mattel’s Tribute Collection, which also includes the likeness of Vera Wang, Maya Angelou, and Ella Fitzgerald.
“I hope that people can look at this Barbie and dream big as I have in my career,” she says in a statement. “The space of dreaming and manifesting is such a powerful source and leads you to achieve more than what you originally thought was possible.”
Continuing to push for the representation and visibility of LGBTQ individuals is especially important now, as anti-trans legislation is introduced in states like Arkansas, Texas, and even in Cox’s home state of Alabama.
“For them to be able to see this Barbie doll in the likeness of a trans person in this moment, I hope [it] gives them hope,” she continues.
“We live in a world that deeply stigmatizes trans people. I didn’t even really understand that it was possible for me to be my authentic self. I grew up in that world, and now I have a Barbie doll. So anything is possible.”