Cox, who came into the limelight for her role as Sophia Burset in the Netflix comedy series Orange is the New Black, said she hoped the doll in her honor will inspire others to “dream big.” The doll was released to celebrate her 50th birthday.
The Emmy award winner also said she was ridiculed during her childhood for expressing her desire to own a Barbie. She ended up having to go to therapy before she ultimately purchased one some years later.
“I went out and bought a Barbie doll and played with her and dressed her and it was a way for me to heal my inner child,” Cox recalled. She also said her mother later gifted her a Barbie doll during Christmas.
Cox and Mattel collaborated on the commemorative doll. And the new Barbie has been fitted with a red tulle ballgown that can be changed into other dresses. Cox said she hoped the Barbie will serve as an inspiration to other children and also encourage parents to rally around children of any gender identity who express their desire to play with dolls, BBC reported.
“It’s incredibly meaningful for me to have my Barbie doll for so many reasons,” she said. “I hope that kids of all gender identities can look at this Barbie and dream.”
“The space of play, playing with dolls, the space of creating worlds with dolls is that space of dreaming,” Cox added. “And now kids get to dream with a Laverne Cox Barbie, the first transgender Barbie – that is a beautiful space of dreaming and possibility.”
Mattel has in recent years included dolls in different colors that have more curves and are shorter. Their recent collections also include gender-neutral dolls and role model Barbies to honor female astronauts, sports stars, scientists, and other iconic people.
“Barbie knows that representation matters and is committed to continuing to increase diversity across collections, so that more people can see themselves reflected,” Mattel said in a statement.