Introducing the First Transgender Doll
After wearing a one-piece bathing suit to her fifth birthday and telling her friends and family that she was a girl, Jazz Jennings became the youngest documented transgender person ever. And it looks like she’s adding another “first” to her résumé as the inspiration for the first transgender doll.
Jazz gained national attention when she appeared on an ABC update with Barbara Walters at just 11 years old. As an avid transgender activist, she went on to appear in a segment with Katie Couric and on one 60 Minutes, as well as a documentary on the Oprah Winfrey Network called “I am Jazz: A Family in Transition.” Today, she’s the star of the TLC show “I am Jazz,” which chronicles her life as a transgender teenager.
It was the Tonner Doll Company that unveiled the prototype for the first time at this year’s New York Toy Fair. The doll has long, dark brown hair and can be found sporting a pink top and denim shorts as a tribute to the outfit Jennings wore on the cover of her book, “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.”
But how exactly did the Tonner Doll Company decide on Jennings? From what we can tell, the decision seemed like a no-brainer. "Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view," Tonner said in a statement. "She's incredibly brave, intelligent, warmhearted and creative."
And while many people are eager to get their hands on the doll, the inspiration herself may be the most excited. In an interview with the New York Times, Jennings said, "Ever since I was little, I always loved playing with dolls. It was a great way to show my parents that I was a girl because I could just express myself as I am. So this really resonates with me, because it was something so pivotal in my own journey."
The Tonner Doll Company traditionally makes high fashion dolls and collectibles marketed towards adults. However, this doll is being sold as a toy for children. For years, the company has based their many dolls on “socially transformative heroes,” including DC’s Wonder Woman and a plus-size doll.
While promoting the doll on her Instagram page, Jennings captioned it in part: "For those asking: The doll is considered to be the first 'transgender' doll because it's based on an individual who is trans. Of course it is still just a regular girl doll because that's exactly what I am: a regular girl!"