It's normal to be concerned about the messages your kid is picking up from something as simple and time-honored as a Barbie doll. After all, the 58-year-old continues to reflect a body type that isn't only completely unrealistic but potentially damaging to young girls' body confidence. But now, Mattel is having Barbie send a progressive message that's certainly applause-worthy.
Last week, a photo was shared on the official Barbie Instagram account featuring two dolls dressed in rainbow-colored "love wins" tees. The shirts are based on style blogger Aimee Song's line of shirts, which were released during Pride Month, reports Refinery29. Half of proceeds from Song's styles are donated to the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping LGBTQ youth in crisis.
The caption alongside the image reads, "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! #barbie #barbiestyle"
The reaction has been hugely positive. Not only has the post racked up more than 38,000 likes, but commenters have lauded the toy company for their inclusive move. "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 Instagram user wrote. "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!"
Another commenter praised the move but agreed that there's more work to be done, writing, "YESS. Keep up the AMAZING work, Barbie creators. Keep making different body sized barbies, different genders, pride dolls, even dolls with different skin tones. Setting a good example for kids, kids love to have dolls that look like them!"
Ultimately, plenty of Barbie fans are in agreement that Mattel's move is a step in an excitingly progressive, more inclusive direction. Excited to see what's next!