May 27, 2022 - Economy

Mattel designs first transgender Barbie, modeled after Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox celebrates A Very Barbie Birthday at Magic Hour at Moxy Times Square on May 26, 2022 in New York City.

Laverne Cox celebrates A Very Barbie Birthday at Moxy Times Square on May 26 in New York City. Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images for  Laverne Cox 

Award-winning actress and LGBTQ advocate Laverne Cox has become the first transgender person to have a Barbie doll modeled after her, Mattel unveiled this week.

Driving the news: "I hope all the kids who are feeling stigmatized when their health care is being jeopardized, ability to play sports, I hope they can see this Barbie and feel a sense of hope and possibility," Cox said on NBC's "Today" show.

  • "If they don't see themselves in this Barbie I hope they know that they can create spaces where they do see themselves."

The big picture: The announcement comes as transgender rights are increasingly under attack in the U.S., with state legislatures passing bills to ban trans youth from sports teams that match their gender identity and others that criminalize gender-affirming care.

  • Cox, who has won numerous Emmy Awards, rose to fame on "Orange Is the New Black" and is a prominent transgender rights activist.

Go deeper: Mattel unveils new inclusive toys, including Barbie with hearing aids

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