Barbie toymaker Mattel creates gender-neutral dolls

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09/25/2019

The toymaker behind Barbie launched a range of gender-neutral dolls on Wednesday which can be styled as either girls or boys, saying children were moving away from traditional stereotypes. Mattel’s “Creatable World” dolls come with removable wigs allowing them to switch between long and short hair, as well as outfits including both dresses and trousers, with the firm saying they offer “inclusive” play for all. “We heard that kids don’t want their toys dictated by gender norms,” said Kim Culmone, senior vice president of fashion doll design at Mattel. “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.” Some parents and feminist campaigners argue gendered marketing of children’s toys and clothes limits girls’ ambitions and reinforces gender stereotypes from a child’s earliest years. The growing number of children identifying as transgender and non-binary – who do not see themselves as male or female – has also boosted demand for toys which represent a wider range of gender identities.

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