Now 16-years-old, Jazz Jennings has been in the spotlight for several years, serving as a role model for transgender teens with a smattering of books and her TLC series, I Am Jazz. If that’s not enough, Jazz has been a strong advocate for transgender rights, sharing her views on social media and the occasional interview. Now, Ms. Jennings, who was born male, but lives as a female teen, will become known for a doll, as one toy manufacturer is using her image to create the world’s first transgender doll.
I Am Jazz‘s Star Inspires The World’s First Transgender Doll
This is the first transgender doll on the market, and guess what?! It's ME!!!???????? @tonnerdoll did a great job of creating this beautiful item! It will be available in July, and I hope that it can place transgender people in a positive light by showing that we are just like all other people???? 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!????
A post shared by Jazz Jennings (@jazzjennings_) on
As trans people continue to fight for equality, Jazz Jennings is reinforcing herself as a positive role model for similar teens with a new doll, produced by a New York doll company, reports Fortune. The transgender toy, which bears Jazz’s likeness, was first unveiled last week at New York’s Toy Fair 2017. The new collectible is being offered by Tonner Doll Company.
While Jazz recognizes the honor and is pleased that the collectible will bring more attention to issues facing transgender people, she also stresses that the doll will just be “a regular girl,” suggesting that labeling the collectible as transgender has nothing to do with simulating sex organs on the doll. Instead, Jennings shared that the creation has been labeled the first transgender doll, because it’s based on the image of a trans person.
Jennings hopes that the doll will help cast the transgender community in a more positive light and help society understand that trans people aren’t any different from other people.
“Of course it is still just a regular girl doll, because that’s what I am: a regular girl!” Jennings captioned an Instagram photo sharing news of the toy.
Robert Tonner, owner of the Tonner Doll Company, says the word “transgender” may not even appear on the packaging. Instead, he hopes the product will be presented as honoring Jazz Jennings for her popularity, and her reputation as a positive role model for other teens.
“She’s a great kid. She’s a very brave, special person. And that’s what we’re trying to get out there.”
Will I Am Jazz Return For A Third Season?
In 2015, I Am Jazz debuted on TLC, following the life of Jazz Jennings, as she struggles to fit in with her peers as a transgender girl, and while the show’s second season maintained steady ratings, Empty Lighthouse Magazine reports that there has been little word of a Season 3 for the reality series. The show, which stars the entire Jennings family, was renewed late with the official announcement coming in December, and since that time, little else has been shared.
It was assumed that a renewal for I Am Jazz would be a given, considering its strong viewership among teens and preteens, even before TLC made the official announcement, so it seems particularly strange that nothing else has been shared by the network. After all, if I Am Jazz is to air in the summer, as has been the case for the previous seasons, the series should be well into production by now.
Fans have been looking to Jazz’s social media accounts for news, but the trans teen hasn’t shared any news, either.
Of course, Ms. Jennings may be preoccupied at the moment, especially with the attention she’s getting over the new Jazz Jennings doll, which may open up opportunities for a modeling career. When a plus size doll for Ashley Graham was created, her revitalized popularity inspired greater modeling opportunities, so Jazz may be considering branching out into the fashion industry as well.
Tonner Doll Company will be selling the Jazz Jennings doll for $180 and up.
[Featured Image by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images]