Barbie, the iconic doll owned by millions worldwide, has come out as a new supporter of the LGBT community, according to some viral posts shared online this week showing Barbie wearing a rainbow-lettered “Love Wins” T-shirt.
The pictures were shared on the official BarbieStyle Instagram account, which shows images of Barbie and other dolls dressed in stylishly designed clothing. Two photos were shared of Barbie posed with a doll designed to look like the fashion designer and blogger Aimee Song. Both dolls are wearing a shirt with “Love Wins” written in rainbow letters. The shirt was designed by Song in honor of Pride Month 2017. Fifty percent of the proceeds from sales of the tee went toward the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGTB youth.
“Proud to wear this ‘Love Wins’ shirt with @songofstyle! Did you know that her exclusive T-shirts benefit different causes and non-profits? Such an inspiring initiative and fabulous few days I have spent with Aimee, she’s a doll!,” BarbieStyle wrote on the post.
Song shared a post a few days later posting with the doll and the shirt. “I’m beyond thrilled to have my own @Barbie doll and to wear my #LoveWins t-shirt from @ShopTwoSongs. I still can’t believe I got to partner with #Barbie as a brand that also celebrates diversity, kindness and acceptance,” she wrote.
Mattel told The Guardian that Barbie was an “inclusive brand that celebrates diversity, kindness and acceptance.”
The Barbie brand has been moving toward a more progressive image for some time. After years of criticism about the doll’s abnormal body dimensions creating unrealistic beauty standards for women, Matte released a new line of Barbies in 2016 with dramatically different hairstyles, skin colors and body types such as “curvy,” “tall” and “petite.”
In early 2017, Barbie released a commercial showing “a typical man’s man” and other fathers playing with the dolls alongside their daughters, which Slate called “a step in the right direction” for making “a traditionally girly activity seem more acceptable for boys and men.”
Mattel also announced a line of Barbie dolls that would “inspire girls by breaking boundaries and expanding possibilities” by honoring modern female “Sheroes,” like director Ava Duvernay, Olympic star Gabby Douglas, American Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad and others.
Barbie’s show of support was met with overwhelmingly positive comments on Instagram. “How many little girls are gonna see this and know that their favorite doll company sees them as real people and feel accepted?” wrote one user. “I never really liked barbies as a kid, but I’ve a lot of respect for the company to represent such a brilliant community,” wrote another.
The Trevor Project also tweeted its thanks to Song and Mattel.
Some others were less-than-enthused with the doll’s fashion choice. CNS News said the doll was “advertising a pro-sodomy agenda” and that it was pushing the “LGBT agenda.”
Others on Twitter said the toys shouldn’t wade into “political” issues.