Laverne Cox is a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. The Orange Is the New Black actor celebrated her 50th birthday three days early, on May 26, like the Gemini icon she is, by twinning with her very own custom Barbie doll.
In case you missed it, the actor recently shared the good news that Mattel was immortalizing her likeness in the form of a Barbie doll. This makes Cox’s Barbie the first-ever transgender doll for the company.
The soon-to-be 50-year-old actor celebrated with a Barbie-themed party hosted at the Moxy Hotel rooftop complete with costume changes and various bubblegum pink party accessories. Matching her plastic friend completely, Cox wore a red dress that featured a leather corset top and tulle skirt that tore away to a completely different look underneath.
Cox mentioned in an interview with that she was very hands-on with this design and gave constant feedback to perfect the final product. “I wanted her to wear multiple outfits, but that wasn’t cost-effective,” she said. “You want the doll to be affordable. So I was like, ‘What if she had one outfit that could peel off and become multiple outfits?’ So that’s what we designed and came up with.”
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Both Laverne Cox and her Barbie doll showed off this costume change at the event: The top pieces came off to unveil a silver glitter jumpsuit that had a sweetheart neckline. With her golden blonde hair styled like her mini plastic friend’s, the Inventing Anna actor posed for pictures in front of a Barbie-themed backdrop that displayed the hashtag #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL.
Cox has spent her career working to use her platform to help transgender and LGBTQ+ individuals, especially trans youth, who often aren’t allowed or able to embrace their identity. In the same interview with People, Cox shared the importance of representation and how something like an inclusive Barbie doll can cause a lot of good.
“I think in an environment where trans children have been used as a political football, when over 250 pieces of antitrans legislation have been introduced in state legislatures all over the country in 2022 alone, and access to gender-affirming health care has been denied by policies signed into law in my home state of Alabama, in Arkansas, and other states,” she said, “that in this environment where trans kids are being attacked, that this can also be a celebration of transness, and also a space for them to dream, understand, and be reminded that trans is beautiful—that there’s hope and possibility for them to be themselves.”
The doll is part of Mattel’s Barbie Tribute Collection and is available for $40 on the Mattel Creations website.