The internet is (once again) aflutter about Barbie’s sexuality (yep, the doll) after an old image of two dolls wearing “Love Wins” shirts began to recirculate online.
JUST LEARNED BARBIE HAS A GIRLFRIEND pic.twitter.com/xBZ6U2hdOL
— sarah ↯ IS GONNA CRY (@kissevermore) January 11, 2021
Many believed the images — as well as an article excerpt posted in the viral tweet — were confirmation of Barbie’s queerness, and LGBTQ+ Twitter went crazy with excitement.
Unfortunately, we have to break the news that Barbie didn’t exactly come out in those old Pride month photos. Instead, the 2017 photoshoot was part of a campaign in support of equal marriage that featured a number of Mattel dolls posed in Pride shirts.
Barbie’s “girlfriend,” as she’s being called online, is actually a doll version of Aimee Song, a fashion blogger who collaborated with the toy company a few years ago. As the collaboration and the campaign seemed to fall at the same time, the dolls are wearing miniature versions of shirts released by Song in celebration of Pride month. The designer and blogger seemed more than happy to add to the trending news, though, taking to Twitter to claim her rightful identity as the other doll.
“I am the girlfriend,” Song tweeted with a heart and love emoji.
— Aimee [Ah-Mee] Song (@AIMEESONG) January 12, 2021
In a piece run on The Guardian in 2017, Mattel addressed the rumors of Barbie’s sexuality by simply stating that the company is an “inclusive brand that celebrates diversity, kindness, and acceptance.” Song also addressed the new brand of shirts on her website when they first dropped.
“So many of my friends (actually most of them) are a part of the LGBTQ community, and I know that life was not always easy for them,” Song wrote in a blog post. “They’re all in great places in their lives now and they’re such great examples of ‘It Gets Better.’ As an ally, and someone who really believes that love wins, I created this tee shirt to benefit The Trevor Project–a non-profit organization focused on preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth.”