Mattel, the company behind Barbie, just unveiled its latest toy: a gender-neutral doll. The Creatable World doll is designed to be completely customizable. It has no designated gender, and it comes with a variety of outfits and hairstyles.
As more and more young people identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming, many children’s toys remain heavily gendered as “boy” or “girl” toys. The Creatable World doll allows gender-creative kids to actually see themselves reflected in their toys. Mattel tested the dolls with 250 families from seven states, including 15 kids who identify as trans, non-binary, or genderfluid.
“There were a couple of gender-creative kids who told us that they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn’t made for them,” Monica Dreger, head of consumer insights at Mattel, told Time. “This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.”
Indeed, the Creatable World doll appeals to kids of all gender identities, not just those who identify as non-binary or trans. A rigid binary understanding of gender is slowly becoming a thing of the past, and the youngest generation’s disdain for labels is proof.
Some parents take issue with the gender-neutral doll, however. They believe that Mattel is pushing a political agenda with the toy. But Mattel’s President Richard Dickson says the company isn’t actually trying to make a political statement. Dickson told Time, “We’re not in the business of politics, and we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it’s your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours.” He added that the doll isn’t designed to appeal to every single family out there, but instead to fill a gap in the market that no doll has ever filled before.
The Creatable World Doll kit is $30 and is available at Amazon, Target, and Walmart.