With Frozen and now Into The Woods Disney’s been at the forefront of dismantling some of the gender expectations they had previously established with a long line of passive, romance-seeking princess narratives. But could Disney be taking a far more progressive step by welcoming a transgender character into their popular Tinkerbell doll line?
The doll in question is being sold in Argentina, where a girl found a surprise when she lifted the toy’s skirt, and instead of nothing found a bit of dangling plastic that seems to be the Barbie version of male genitalia. Check the pic below to see for yourself:
The Daily Mail reports the girl’s mother posted a pic of the doll online, and a follow-up video shows another Argentinian buying the same doll and making the same discovery. The question right now is whether this was an intentional manufacturing choice, or a screw-up out of the China, where the doll was produced.
The toy appears to be a knockoff fashion doll of Zarina, the titular heroine of the Tinkerbell movie The Pirate Fairy. For reasons I’d rather not go into, I’ve actually seen this kiddie cartoon. (Tom Hiddleston as a young James Hook, okay? I’m not made of stone.) And while Zarina is a pirate, a fairy, an alchemist/scientist, and an outcast, she’s never outed as transgender within the movie. Of course, what’s beneath the skirts of kid-movie heroines is rarely a plot point, so it’s not impossible, just improbable. Because Disney.
With the line called “Fashion Happy,” this doesn’t appear to be an officially licensed Disney toy. And Disney has so far been mum on the subject. So, it seems this is more an issue of a knock-off doll mistake than some intentional effort to create the world’s first transgender doll for kids. Still, that doesn’t mean this can’t be a teachable moment. Child psychologist Ricardo Rodulfo laid it out: “It doesn’t matter to a child whether a toy has male genitalia or not. The idea causes more disturbance among adults.”