Step aside, Barbie. Mattel is launching its first line of gender-neutral dolls.
via Mattel

As the world slowly becomes more inclusive about gender expression, so is the toy aisle.

Last year, Mattel, the creators of the ultimate gendered toy, Barbie, did away with "boys" and "girls" toy divisions in favor of non-gendered sections such as "dolls" or "cars."

Target has also been moving away from gendered toy aisles. Last year, it announced it would phase out gender-based signage from a number of departments, including toys.

While it may appear as though manufacturers and big-box retailers taking a progressive stance, their choices are in total alignment with the market. Millennial parents have a growing interest in purchasing toys and clothing for their children that are gender-neutral.

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via Target Corporate

"As millennial parents start families of their own, we see them reconsidering some of the more traditional elements of parenting," said Dana Macke, associate director of lifestyles and leisure at Mintel, told Market Watch. "As such, brands are trying to bridge this divide by developing toys that meet both kids' and parents' gender expectations," Macke continued.

Mattel has responded to this change in cultural and market norms by launching the Creatable World series of gender-less dolls.

via Mattel


via Mattel


via Mattel

The dolls, which cost $29.99, don't have broad shoulders like Ken or breasts like Barbie. Creatable World dolls can be played with as a boy, a girl, or neither. They're slim with androgynous faces and short hair and can be fitted with wigs and a wardrobe consisting of sneakers, graphic tees, hoodies, tutus, or camouflage pants.

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"Toys are a reflection of culture and as the world continues to celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we felt it was time to create a doll line free of labels," Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design, said in a press release.

Mattel's president Richard Dickson insists the Createable World dolls aren't a political statement.

"We're not in the business of politics, and we respect the decision any parent makes around how they raise their kids. Our job is to stimulate imaginations. Our toys are ultimately canvases for cultural conversation, but it's your conversation, not ours; your opinion, not ours," he told Time.

Creatable Dolls are a welcome addition to the toy aisle because they give children what we all need: more choice and freedom.

Children growing up today are at a wonderful advantage over older generations because they have greater freedom to express themselves however they choose and to feel comfortable and safe doing so. Mattel's new dolls give them one more way to express themselves and to better relate to those who are different.

The fasting period of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world is a both an individual and communal observance. For the individual, it's a time to grow closer to God through sacrifice and detachment from physical desires. For the community, it's a time to gather in joy and fellowship at sunset, breaking bread together after abstaining from food and drink since sunrise.

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited group gatherings in many countries, putting a damper on the communal part of Ramadan. But for one community in Barcelona, Spain, a different faith has stepped up to make the after sunset meal, known as Iftar, as safe as possible for the Muslim community.

According to Reuters, Father Peio Sanchez, Santa Anna's rector, has opened the doors of the Catholic church's open-air cloisters to local Muslims to use for breaking the Ramadan fast. He sees the different faiths coming together as a symbol of civic coexistence.

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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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