If I’m being honest, it’s taken me all week to muster up the words to write this post.
When I first read Wednesday that Mattel was releasing a line of gender-neutral Barbie dolls, my first thought was not shock. It was more like an eye-roll met with numbness.
The kind of numbness I often feel these days when there’s yet another mass shooting. The kind of numbness that our souls have become so accustomed to because the things of this world that were once shocking and heartbreaking, are now to be expected.
Make no mistake, I don’t take mass shootings, or identity-crises lightly. In fact, it pains me to the point of hopelessness.
Which is where I’m at today friends. As I reflect on these new gender-neutral Barbie dolls—of all things—I can’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of hopelessness for the generation we’re raising.
Barbie dolls have traditionally represented the female image—a long-legged blonde woman who exudes beauty. And while I understand that society has come a long way, and learned a lot of things about identity from Barbie (both good and bad), Mattel’s new move is a misstep for me.
The new dolls allow kids to form the gender expression of the doll itself. Fully gender-neutral, it can be accessorized to be a boy, a girl, neither, or both.
It’s all in an effort to promote gender inclusivity.
“In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them,” a voiceover says in a video ad for new collection. “Introducing CreatableWorld, a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in, making play more inclusive than ever before.”