Could Mattel be developing a Barbie same sex wedding set? Well, yeah. They could. And they might. And I am here for it.
And so, inspired by engaged couple Matt Jacobi and Nick Caprio of Arizona, who “brought so much joy and happiness” to their 8-year-old niece by hacking a few existing Barbie wedding sets and putting them together to make their own Barbie same-sex wedding party play set that looked like the adorable couple and their adorable flower girls, Mattel actually reached out to Jacobi to chat about plans to create one for real.
Sniff. I always cry at weddings. And here I am, emotional about a pretend wedding of two Chinese-made plastic dolls, too.
Above all, it’s just so important for kids with same-sex parents, uncles, aunts, big siblings and grandparents to see more dolls that reflect their own families. Don’t your kids get excited when they find an American Girl Doll that looks like them? A book featuring a kid with hair like theirs? Or sheesh, even a silly key chain from an airport gift shop with their own name on it? Of course they do. All children want to know that they are validated and loved, and that includes their families.
It’s not an “activist move” and it’s not “pushing an agenda,” as I’m sure plenty of people will say. It’s simply how the world looks, and it’s increasingly not a big deal at all to this generation of kids.
Which is probably why last year’s Lesbian Barbie wearing a “Love Wins” rainbow shirt was so exciting to so many people.
But hey, let’s look at the notion of a same-sex Barbie wedding couple set from a pure business perspective.
Mattel makes a Barbie Paleontologist Doll. While it’s amazing and important for girls to aspire to be all kinds of things, and to see themselves reflected back in those roles, there are currently about 32,000 employed geoscientists in total, with 25% of them, or 8,000, being women.
Mattel makes a Barbie Pizza Chef Doll. Women represent about 19% of chefs overall and if that number holds with the 75,000 pizza restaurants in the US, you can estimate around 14,000 female pizza chefs in the US, max.
Mattel makes a Barbie Beekeper Playset. Presumably for girls who want to increase the percentage of women in the industry — women comprise only 30% or so of the 125,000 total beekepers in the US.
(By the way, women beekeepers are totally badass.)
Mattel makes a Barbie Astronaut Doll. Very cool considering 61 total female astronauts in history have gone into space — 41 of them from the US. I imagine the next generation of STEM-loving girls is going to skyrocket (ha) that number.
And of course, Mattel makes a Barbie president doll. Yeah, we’re working on that here in the USA.
(I have no data as of yet on how many men in the US are still wearing man buns.)
Now compare any of those figures with the 11 million US adults who identify as LGBTQ, or 4.5% of all US adults in the country. That’s some doll market right there.
Of course there is one major difference among all the existing Barbie dolls and the proposed ones: Careers are by choice. Being gay is not a choice.
You can, however choose to get married. And you can even choose to do it in any of the 50 US states.
Top image: Matt Jacobi via Instagram