An Asian doll with a brown bob wearing a red love wins t-shirt sits across from Barbie who is wearing a matching white t shirt

@AeedeeArt

Why you’re seeing all those ‘Barbie has a girlfriend’ memes

'Barbie got a gf before me and I am not okay'

Jan 12, 2021, 3:41 pm

Internet Culture

 

Siobhan Ball

Sapphic Twitter went wild last night when photos emerged indicating Barbie, yes the fashion doll, has a girlfriend.

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"https://twitter.com/kissevermore/status/1348724952883556352" Two screenshots, one of a vt.com article preview saying "And now, Mattel has taken it one step further, giving Barbie her first girlfriend. Yes Barbie came out this week... Official photographs of Barbie and her new girlfriend were featured on Mattel's "Barbie styles" instagram page, and they're pictured sporting marriage equality and LGBTQ awareness "love wins" t-shirt." The other shows an Asian Barbie with short brown hair and a red t-shirt with love wins written on it in rainbow lettering. Beside her is Barbie wearing a matching white t-shirt.
@kissevermore
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It was Twitter user @kissevermore that sounded the gay icon alarm, tweeting out "JUST LEARNED BARBIE HAS A GIRLFRIEND" along with relevant screenshots of Barbie with another doll wearing a "love wins" T-shirt.

"barbie got a gf before me i am not okay" two photographs, one of Barbie and her girlfriend in the love wins t shirts, sat on a white bed on either side of a small brown dog. The second one features them walking arm and arm in maxi dresses, the girlfriend in a red patterned one and Barbie in a blue and white chevron striped dress paired with sunglasses
@carpiso_t
"barbie has a girlfriend??? miss barbie gay?? we been knew" screenshots from Barbie movies, on the left is a scene where Barbie holds hands with a blue haired mermaid in the water, on the right Barbie and a dark haired doll in a blue dress hold hands against a seascape
@carpiso_t
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"LOOK AT THEIR WINGS???? BI AND PAN???? BI AND PAN OMGOMGSJSJFN BARBIE GAY" promotional image from Barbie, a fairy secret. The cgi doll on the left has dark hair, a knee length dress with a puffy skirt and blue, pink and purple wings. The doll on the right has a blonde ponytail, a pink and blue frilly dress and pink, yellow and blue wings.
@BUNNYFA1RY

It turns out that the photos are relatively old, in internet terms, dating all the way back to 2017 when Mattel ran a collaboration with fashion blogger Aimee Song, who served as the model for the doll.

"I am the girlfriend 🥰❤️" A photograph of the blogger, an Asian woman with short brown hair wearing a red love wins t-shirt, smiling and holding the doll based off her whose wearing a matching outfit
@aimeesong
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It's not clear why the images have gone viral now, but that hasn't stopped any of the excitement. Discussions include whether Ken was also gay all along, (after all there was Magic Earring Ken who was inadvertently given a cock ring necklace after a misunderstanding about gay fashion) and whether Barbie herself is gay or bi.

"“bArbIE iS a lEsBiaN” this is bi erasureFace with look of triumph don’t forget about ken, and LOOK AT HER HAIRCUTFace with look of triumphFace with look of triumphGrowing heartPurple heartBlue heart" screenshot of the two dolls sat next to each other in the love wins t shirts with Barbie on the right
@abbynicole
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"Are you really trying to say THIS man is straight?" Photograph of the Earring Magic Ken Doll in his box. he wears a purple pleather vest, a large silver ring on a chain around his neck and has his arm raised
@Amphibi_awesome
Barbie is sat at a white table wearing her white love wins shirt. The girlfriend doll, in a red love wins shirt, approaches the table tapping her phone.
@Amphibi_awesome
"After acidentally gay Ken, we get purposefully bi barbie." A Venn diagram in orange with the circle labelled what you love and the colour key labelled to see it
@alice_pbg
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Not everyone is happy, however, with some saying that as Mattel never came out and confirmed Barbie being some flavor of LGBTQ+ headcanoning the two dolls as in a relationship is just giving Mattel the reward of being seen as inclusive without having to make the effort.

@AeedeeArt
But even people who know it’s fake now are like “idc, I’m still believing it” and I’m like, well you’ve given Mattel exactly what they want - the rewards without the effort
@AeedeeArt
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*First Published: Jan 12, 2021, 3:41 pm