A gay couple in San Antonio, Texas is on the edge of bringing same-sex Barbie couples into existence.
TV personality Matt Jacobi and his partner Nick Caprio say they have a meeting with toy company Mattel next week to discuss the potential coupling of two Barbie or Ken dolls.
The pair, who are set to marry in May 2019, started the campaign after realising they couldn’t buy a doll set which looked like them for Jacobi’s niece Natalie’s eighth birthday.
Speaking to local TV station KNXV, Jacobi explained that when searching for the gift, “we wanted it to be meaningful. And we wanted it to be somehow connected to our wedding.”
On Instagram, he explained that Natalie “and her little sister are flower girls in our upcoming May wedding. We thought it would be special to give her something with a little meaning behind it.”
Addressing Mattel directly, he continued: “What a bummer you don’t make one with two grooms. Anyway, we had to get creative and make a couple purchases. I hope our custom gift inspires you to make a #GayWedding set!”
Gay couple makes custom same-sex Barbie pair
Jacobi and Caprio paired up two Ken dolls to create their own gay doll couple for Natalie, who responded when unwrapping it by telling them: “They look exactly like you!”
The fiancés explained that they were trying to make a same-sex Barbie set standard issue because LGBT representation and education was important to them.
“You just realise that it’s not connecting to us”
— Matt Jacobi
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“You just look at it from your perspective and you just realise that it’s not connecting to us,” said Jacobi about Ken and Barbie pairings, which have been the only romantic couple sold by Mattel since Barbie was created in 1959.
Caprio pre-empted straight parents’ complaints by saying that they couldn’t hide from the issue forever.
“It’s going to come up in your family no matter what,” he explained.
“As more same-sex couples are having kids, your kids are going to have kids in the class that have gay parents and things like that, too. So it’s not this huge shock anymore.”
Same-sex Barbie pair would increase doll’s rising diversity
If Mattel agrees to turn Jacobi and Caprio’s idea into reality, it would be groundbreaking—but it wouldn’t be the first same-sex Barbie pairing.
Last year, Australian doll artist Betty Strachan-Otter created a family with lesbian Barbie parents ahead of the country’s successful postal vote on same-sex marriage.
She explained that the Barbies and their three children were part of her desire to “use my dolls to depict scenes containing positive affirmations to those who can relate to them.”
In 2016, Barbie was made over as Mattel released 33 new dolls with dozens of different hair colours, hairstyles, skin tones, eye colours, face shapes and body shapes.
Some aren’t fully on board with the concept of a more diverse Barbie though, with Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan making up the concept of a gender fluid Barbie to attack trans people on the show last month.