Barbie may not be out of the closet yet, but her fans sure are

Has there ever really been a gay doll? 

Well, yes and no. In 1977, "Gay Bob," marketed as the world's first gay doll, was sold through mail-order ads in gay magazines. And I'm sure that Mattel still thinks about the "Earring Magic Ken" fiasco of 1993, and his "necklace." 

But there's nothing inherently gay about dolls themselves – they're toys, pieces of plastic after all. In the same vein, there's nothing inherently gay about doll collecting as a hobby, as a passion, as an art form. 

Dolls are cultural reflections of the times, for better or worse. But doll brands like Barbie that are symbols of hyper-heteronormative, old-school femininity are being reclaimed and reinterpreted by adult LGBTQ collectors in a new way. And don't think the toy companies are unaware — they’re not, and they are absolutely involved.  Read more...

More about Instagram, Tumblr, Culture, Dolls, and Barbie

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