Laverne Cox has made history, once again.
The Emmy-winning actress was recently honored with her own Barbie—marking the first time Mattel has modeled the iconic doll after a transgender woman. Cox unveiled her Barbie during Wednesday’s episode of the TODAY show, saying she hoped the milestone would inspire LGBTQ youth who feel stigmatized.
“I think this year particularly, when over 250 pieces of anti-transgender legislation have been introduced in state legislatures all over the country—targeting transgender children, LGBTQ youth,” she said. “I hope all the kids who are feeling stigmatized— when their health care is being jeopardized, their ability to play in sports—I hope they can see this Barbie and have a sense of hope and possibility. If they don’t see themselves in this Barbie, I hope they know that they can create spaces where they do see themselves, where they are represented, because representation matters.”
The Orange Is the New Black star said she became fond of Barbie as a child, but wasn’t allowed to play with them.
“I was telling my therapist how I was really shamed by my mother when I was a kid when I wanted to play with a Barbie doll but I was denied,” she continued. “And I had a lot of shame and trauma about that. And my therapist said to me, ‘It is never too late to have a happy childhood.’ She said, ‘Go out and buy yourself a Barbie and play with her. There’s a little kid that lives inside of you. Give her space to play.’ And I did.”
Cox’s Barbie is part of Mattel’s Tribute Collection and is available to purchase for $40 online. The doll is dressed a a red gown and silver bodysuit, as well as boots and silver earrings. Cox wore the same design during her Barbie-themed 50th birthday party earlier this week.
In celebration of Cox’s milestone birthday, Mattel announced it would make a donation to TransFamilySOS in the actress’ name.