With the debut and subsequent success of the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” trans actress Laverne Cox was thrust into the spotlight for her performance as Sophia Bursett. 

The program premiered on July 11, 2013 and continued through July 26, 2019. Cox played the role throughout the run of the series, becoming the first transgender person to be nominated for a primetime Emmy award in 2017.

But Cox’s list of achievements doesn’t end there. After the first season of Orange is the New Black, she was honored by GLAAD with the 2014 Steven F. Kolzak award for her work as an advocate for the transgender community.

Her role in the series led to an impressive list of firsts: she was the first transgender individual to appear on the cover of Time magazine in 2014 and Cosmopolitan magazine in February 2018. She is the first known transgender woman to have a wax figure of herself at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum; the first trans woman to win a daytime Emmy award in 2015 as executive producer for “Laverne Cox presents: the T Word” and the first transgender individual to play a transgender character as a series regular on the CBS broadcast television series “Doubt.”

Earlier this year she joined the cast of NBC’s “E Entertainment” as a correspondent and it was announced that Mattel was releasing a Barbie doll in her image. She talked about that on “Good Morning America.”

“I am so excited to announce that there is now a Laverne Cox Barbie doll by Mattel. They have this incredible tribute series that includes some amazing people and I am the latest person to be so honored.”

An activist in many fields, Cox is aware of the growing costs of goods in the marketplace and wanted the doll to be the biggest bang for your buck as possible. With the holiday season right around the corner, the Laverne Cox Barbie tribute doll makes a great holiday gift and is available directly from Mattel Creations for $45. 

“I wanted her to have multiple outfits, to make it cost effective so people could afford it,” Cox explains. “At first Mattel said ‘we can only do one outfit,’ but I asked, ‘what if we do one that can peel off?’ So she has this dress with a jumpsuit on underneath. And you can mix and match the styles. I had so much fun designing it with Mattel.”

In addition to enjoying the fun and hoopla surrounding the Barbie release, Cox also realizes the significance of the doll’s creation and hopes it has a positive impact.

“With over 250 pieces of legislation just this year being introduced all over the country targeting transgender and lgbtq use, I hope all the kids that are feeling stigmatized when their healthcare and their ability to play in sports is being jeopardized I hope they can see themselves in this Barbie, a sense of hope and a sense of representation, because representation matters.”

Barbie represents a special place in Cox’s heart. As a child she wanted one and her mother wouldn’t allowed her to play with them.

“I was really shamed by my mother when I was a kid and I told her I wanted one a Barbie doll and I wanted to play with one, when I was around nine. I had a lot of shame and trauma about that, but my therapist told me, ‘It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Go out and buy yourself a Barbie and play with her and dress her.’

“And I did, and I told my mother about it and the next Christmas my mother bought me a Barbie doll. Then my next birthday she got me another one and for the next several years she got me all these Barbies and I thought, ‘finally, my mom is buying me Barbie!

“There’s a kid in all of us,” Cox continued. “Barbie has been a real healing experience for me as an adult and I hope Barbie fans of all ages can find healing and inspiration in this doll.”

Cox turned 50 this year on May 29. She celebrated her birthday at the Moxy Hotel rooftop in Manhattan three days early on May 26 with costume changes that matched her Barbie doll.

On the acting front, Cox can currently be seen in the Netflix miniseries released this year, “Inventing Anna.” She is also in post-production for the film “Uglies,” an action/adventure epic about a world where a compulsory operation wipes out physical differences and makes everyone pretty; and she’s already been cast in the role of Anna for the upcoming series “Clean Slate,” about a car wash owner who learns his estranged son is returning home to Alabama – after an absence of 17 years – as a woman.

An interesting note in closing: Cox is a southern girl, and she’s really from Alabama!

David Aaron Moore

David Aaron Moore is a former editor of Qnotes, serving in the role from 2003 to 2007. He is currently the senior content editor and a regularly contributing writer for Qnotes. Moore is a native of North...

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