Bratz Roxxi and Nevra dolls are out as a couplePhoto: Bratz / MGA Entertainment

To celebrate Pride Month in 2020, Bratz shared a sweet photo of two of their dolls, Roxxi and Nevra, making themselves comfortable, one wearing a lesbian flag bracelet and the other a bisexual badge. “Steppin ‘out and coming out,” Bratz wrote, to send a message of support and acceptance to their LGBTQ followers.

It’s not uncommon for brands to jump on the rainbow band during Pride to gain more followers or increase sales.

Related: Norwegian Postal Service’s Gay-Themed Christmas Ad Goes Viral

However, over a year later, Roxxi and Nevra are still going strong. They even went on a date at a haunted house for National Coming Out Day 2021.

but why is it important? Is it really that important that two dolls “go out together”?

When I was little I loved my Bratz and Barbie dolls. I put them together and vividly remember being completely unleashed when an aunt and uncle gave me Bratz Play Sportz Yasmin for Christmas when I already had it. (It’s okay, they traded her for Chloe and I’m still the favorite niece).

I also know that I’m not the only one getting my Bratz and Barbies kissed, despite having a perfectly thin Ken doll in my collection.

Of course, when you’re five, you do most things without thinking or really realizing what they mean. However, if more young women had had queer representation in toys when they were younger, it could have saved them years of tormenting themselves to be “different.”

If little girls were taught from a young age that two women in a relationship are pure, healthy, and lovable (and normal), and that we don’t learn that “lesbian” is a sexual word. and dirty, they might come to terms with their own sexuality much sooner.

Seeing Bratz providing this vital representation to children today makes me emotional because it gives LGBTQ youth the opportunity to feel seen and heard that I never had.

And not only are Bratz queer dolls incredibly important for children to learn about the LGBTQ community, but they are also valid for queer people in their twenties who grew up ashamed and afraid to be themselves. .

Lesbian dolls who are open and proud of their sexuality not only normalize female-to-female relationships from the start, but reassure LGBTQ women as adults that there has never been a problem with them.

Personally, I grew up absolutely ravaged by the guilt, confusion, embarrassment, and so many scary thoughts about sex – and when you’re ashamed of being just your natural self, the thoughts of self-deprecation and self-doubt. self persist. They integrate well into your adult life and really shape how you view your self-worth.

If I had known my Bratz dolls were cheerful when I was younger, I could have lived my life with so much more openness and zeal. I could have been more expressive, more authentically myself, and less terrified of being ostracized for my identity.

When you’re five years old you get your Bratz dolls kissed and hugged (I’m pretty sure mine has even gotten married a couple of times) and not sure exactly what that means, it can create such worry and anxiety. . It can really make you feel broken, not to say lonely and weird.

But there is nothing broken about being a woman who loves other women.

There is nothing to be ashamed of in being that little girl who had her dolls kissed and held by the hand.

There is nothing wrong with needing to be portrayed in the media so that you can feel more free to be yourself.

There is no shame in it all, and I’m so glad little girls are growing up knowing it.