LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Jazz Jennings shared her life as a transgender teen on TLC’s reality series “I am Jazz.”
Now, a doll based on the 16-year-old’s likeness will debut next week at the New York Toy Fair.
It will be the first ever transgender doll on the market, according to Tonner Doll Company that made the doll.
Like most dolls, the toy will have a genderless plastic mold, which was designed and sculpted by company founder Robert Tonner.
His company has made dolls based on a variety of TV, film and book characters including Spiderman, Harry Potter, Dr. Who and Wonder Woman.
In a statement, Tonner called the doll groundbreaking and said “Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view – she’s incredibly brave, intelligent, warm-hearted and creative.”
Drian Juarez is transgender and works for the Los Angeles LGBT Center in Hollywood. “I think it’s about reflecting the world. Trans people are a part of society. We’re part of the culture,” she said.
She believes this doll will make a huge impact on kids in teaching them acceptance and helping those who may struggle with gender identity.
“People of my generation grew up with no role models, with no language. We didn’t see ourselves on TV. We didn’t see ourselves in magazines. We were invisible,” Juarez added. “What we are talking about here is gender identity and saying that if you’re transgender child, you are okay. You are fine just the way you are.”
The 18-inch doll does have its critics, who took to social media.
Serena Feinberg, a grandmother, said when her children were young, “they didn’t have dolls that were any other color but white. So our world has changed, and people are being more loving and accepting.”
The doll will be available in July for about $90 on the Tonner Doll’s website and in specialty stores.