Barbie dolls have long been criticised for promoting poor body standards, but in recent years, Mattel, the company that manufactures the dolls, has put in effort to make the dolls more inclusive. In keeping with those efforts, the latest dolls seem to be standing up for LGBTQ+ rights.
Last week, an official Barbie Instagram account posted a photo of two dolls wearing shirts that read "love wins" in rainbow-coloured letters. The shirts are based on style blogger Aimee Song's line of shirts, which were released during Pride Month. Half of the proceeds of the shirt go to the Trevor Project, a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping LGBTQ youth in crisis.
While having Barbies wear shirts supporting LGBTQ+ rights may seem like a small step, it's a meaningful one nonetheless. Some wondered if the shirts meant that Barbie was bisexual, and others were just happy that Barbie could be an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. While there isn't a clear indication that these dolls are meant to be queer, they still meant a lot to people.
"I grew up playing with Barbie dolls and as a member of the LGBT+ community my heart is full with this amazing step towards equality in the media," one person commented on the photo on Instagram. "The next step for Barbie is to expand its available skin tones and hair types! Let’s make sure every girl and boy and can get a Barbie doll that represents them!"
"My girlfriend's daughter and this proud step mom are both OBSESSED with Barbie — thank you for showing us how to win with love and acceptance," another person wrote.
Refinery29 has reached out to Mattel for comment, and will update this article when we receive a response.
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