In recent years, Mattel’s signature Barbie doll has been the canary in the coal mine of social engineering. For the 2014 Christmas season, for example, a variant of Barbie was released that was complete with acne, cellulite, stretch marks, and surgical scars — all features of the non-idealized female.
This year’s contender for your holiday dollar is a Moschino line of Barbie. But its not the luxury fashions that make the doll newsworthy: It’s the child models selected for the toy maker’s 30-second ad spot:
Yes, that was a male of the species at around the 0:09-second mark, declaring, “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” as he places a designer handbag on the doll’s arm.
The ad, released earlier this month, is the latest in a series of steps to remove gender from toy shopping. Target made waves this year when it decided to stop labeling toys as for boys or girls, simply using the term “kids” instead, while Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Oven moved to a gender-neutral product a few years ago.
The boy, who rocks a junior Macklemore haircut, issues a coy wink at the end of the ad.
Some commenters say they have detected a lisp, which makes the ad a political statement.
Interestingly, Mattel still lists “Boys” and “Girls” as two of the links on the main menu of its website, but maybe that’s just the company putting its mouth where the money is.
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