Mattel's Barbie doll has gone through several makeovers. She went from being exclusively dressed as a someone who joined a bikini contest to taking on multiple jobs including becoming a YouTuber. Even her physique has had a transformation. She doesn't have the unattainable body ratio anymore and now comes in additional body types including petite, tall and full-bodied. All of these moves came with praise and shifted sentiments about the iconic toy.
But Barbie's new sizes and occupations, which used to be the most talked-about transformations, isn't Mattel's most daring decision anymore. Enter Creatable World, the world's first collection of gender-neutral dolls.
Unlike Barbie and Ken, these dolls don't have the traditional markers of femininity and masculinity. And that means no overly long lashes and full breasts or broad chests and wide jaws. Dolls in the Creatable World line have a body that resembles a child's. The kit comes with wigs and assorted clothes that kids can mix and match. With these tools, the dolls can be transformed into any gender — male, female or neither or maybe even both.
In several tests by Mattel, the dolls proved to be a hit among the Alpha Generation (born in 2011 onwards), according to an article by Time. And since the dolls are gender-fluid, it can be shared among siblings and be transformed into different characters facilitating imagination and creativity. In the same article, however, it was reported that it was not quite a hit amongst some parents. Others are saying that the dolls are a political move and can potentially confuse their child's identity.
Despite this, there's no doubt that Mattel's launch of Creatable World is a good move, considering the trend that more people than ever are identifying as gender-neutral. But representation is not just the main benefit of having these dolls available in the market, it can also foster understanding and empathy between different genders at an early age.
Interested in buying one for your child or younger nieces and nephews? The dolls are now available for USD29.99 on their website. But they will soon be launched globally so you can also wait for your local toy store to have them!
What do you think of Creatable World?
Next, learn about the style notes we're taking from Barbie.