The first ever transgender doll has been commissioned. This is a development that has shaken the parenting world to its core. Where some are arguing the appropriateness of the doll being sold to children. Others are however, of the opinion that this is a huge victory for the transgender community as it serves as a validation of their existence.

The question on many people’s lips on social media is: What exactly makes a doll transgender? In one post, the doll’s makers explained how the doll is a likeness of Jennings, but without any genitalia.

the tonner doll company

Those in Nigeria might recall  in 2015, when a popular cable company was compelled to halt the broadcast of a reality show “I am Jazz” in response to an uproar by concerned citizens, because the content was deemed inappropriate for our climes.

The star of the show now aged 16 years, Jazz Jennings has gone on to become a celebrity in her own right, an active spokesperson for the transgender community and now has been immortalized as she is the inspiration for the first ever transgender doll. With this, she has become a key player in a historical event.

Robert Tonner, who designed and sculpted the Jazz Jennings doll that is being released by his company The Tonner Doll Company in a statement said, “Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view, She’s incredibly brave, intelligent, warmhearted and creative.”

The doll will come with a pink shirt and jean shorts, mirroring the outfit that Jazz wears on the cover of her memoir, “Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen.” The company is marketing the doll to children, instead of as an adult collectible. It has also created a red-carpet ready Jazz doll, wearing a sparkling white ballerina dress. The dolls will be available for purchase in July.

“I love her. A portion of my proceeds will be donated to help trans youth who are struggling. I hope that it can place transgender people in a positive light by showing that we are just like all other people,” says Jazz

Upon posting a photo of the doll on her Instagram page, she wrote: “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!”
Jazz and her parents said she began gravitating to “girl things” at an early age and insisting she had the wrong genitalia. At home, she wore dresses but in public she wore pants to maintain a “gender neutral appearance.”
“I was assigned male at birth but was a girl right from the start. I expressed myself as a girl to my family by gravitating towards dolls, dresses, sparkles, and everything feminine. I didn’t just like girly objects, but I heavily insisted that I WAS a girl.” Jazz wrote on her Facebook page.

Jazz Jennings

She however ‘came out’ at her fifth birthday party, when she wore a one-piece bathing suit and told her friends she was a girl, her parents told ABC.
That interview catapulted Jazz and her family into the spotlight.
Jazz has appeared on various television networks and news outlets, including an ABC update with Barbara Walters at age 11, a segment with Katie Couric, a report on “60 Minutes,” and an Oprah Winfrey Network documentary, “I am Jazz: A Family in Transition.”
The exposure has shaped Jazz into a transgender advocate and spokesperson who uses social media to connect with fans and followers. Thousands follow her on YouTube, where she posts her speeches, DIY craft tutorials and musings about being a transgender youth.
So, would you get a Jazz doll for your tot?
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About the author

Kris Ero

As a Child and Family Wellness Advocate, known as The WellnessJunkie; she is the founder of WellBabyNG, host of the WellBaby Radio show, convener of the WellBaby Wellness Train and Family Wellness Masterclass; she is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Wellness Magazine.

4 Comments

  • A dicey question I would say…..
    Firstly, what makes a doll transgender? If its based on the fact that its mirrored after a transgender individual then I doubt if that’s enough definition to the word”transgender doll”
    Same thing as asking ” would you buy a Ben10 toy for your baby? Since Ben10 happens to represent monsters.
    Personally for as long as the doll doesn’t possess both male and female genitals and still looks like a girl, (or a boy)…..why not.
    But at the same time, it depends on the parent and how inquisitive the baby in question is….

    • you know, my thinking exactly. its got no genitals. no one would know, except as you said curiosity. thanks so much for your comment. and i apologise for the late response xoxo

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