New Barbie Ad Features Boy for the First Time and It's Adorable
A new Barbie ad has brought us a first: a boy playing with the iconic doll. The ad campaign is Mattel’s attempt to break gender stereotypes and is for the $150 Moschino Barbie that’s now sold out.
Some Twitter users commented on the fact that the boy is adopting a stereotypical persona, but it would also seem that he’s based Jeremy Scott, creative director for Moschino, pictured here. He even did an interview calling Barbie his muse: Like every girl and gay boy, I loved Barbie.”
This comes in the wake of Target removing all gendered signing from their toys and bedding department, and Disney removing gender designation from all costumes online. In 2012, the Swedish Toys R’ Us’ toy catalogue went gender-neutral, showing that the store really is a place where a “kid can be a kid.” (I miss those Geoffrey ads of my childhood, TRU!)
Of course, the Internet being what it is, many are dismayed with this ad, but many male fashion designers probably grew up designing Barbie clothes, and we were discussing male children having dolls as early as 1972, with the publication of the picture book William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow. The end of the book has William’s father learning that a doll is okay for William to have because then if he’s a father, he’ll have practice taking care of a baby.
Mattel faced a lot of criticism when the book Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer was decried as sexist (read the fixed versions many computer-savvy ladies did at Feminist Hacker Barbie) and has been facing declining sales for three years, so the company has launched a new initiative inspiring girls to be anything they want. Watch the video below. I have to admit, I was really thrilled with it when I first saw it, especially since when I expressed interest in being a dolphin trainer (I was young, didn’t know much about animal welfare), I had a female teacher tell me that I couldn’t do it, and that it wasn’t possible! Now of course, I’m not a dolphin trainer, but the idea she told me I couldn’t be that..
Note: Am I the only one who has been pronouncing Moschino wrong this whole time!? Have you ever been told that you couldn’t do something? What do you think of the ad? Let me know in the comments!