Mattel has made positive strides in the toy industry with inclusivity.
Barbie now has different body types represented with curvy and tall figures. Plus, there are dolls that use wheelchairs, and others that have varying hair types — all to make every kid feel included. Now Mattel, Barbie's parent company, has launched a line of dolls with that same vision.
The Creatable World dolls are customizable with gender-neutral faces, hair types, and clothing options so that any child can imagine a character they can relate to.
The six dolls all vary in race and hair types, but each feature nondescript facial structures that have no discernible gender. From the Instagram comments, it seems like everyone is really excited about the prospect of a gender-neutral toy. "THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! this means EVERYTHING to me as a nonbinary kid," writes one person.
Even though the progressive doll is making positive strides toward inclusivity, there has been some pushback. According to Time, some parents have expressed concern about the doll pushing a political agenda. However, when testing the products, most kids were happy with the customizable options that came with the toy.
Mattel's President Richard Dickson told Time that it's important to be innovative and progressive with products, but it won't always be appreciated. "I think being a company today, you have to have a combination of social justice along with commerce, and that balance can be tricky," Dickson told the magazine. "Not everyone will appreciate you or agree with you."
Regardless of political opinions, these dolls are here to stay and people are feeling better represented because of it. The $30 kits come with six articles of clothing, three pairs of shoes, two accessories, and a wig. Another person felt seen by the brand's conscientious choice and commented on its Instagram post, "Mattel being so inclusive is magical."