So, I came across this ad this morning via the interwebs, and while at first I was happy to see a boy in a Barbie commercial, the ad itself disturbed me. The commercial features kids excited about a new Barbie (side note: am I the only one who thought Moschino was pronounced Mo-shee-no and not Mo-skee-no? Mind blown.). That’s cool. The ad even features a BOY who likes Barbie (unheard of in commercials during my childhood), which is great!
Unfortunately, the role they chose for the boy is a tired, flamboyantly gay stereotype.
Why does a boy who plays with dolls have to be gay? Does that make people more comfortable with the idea? And why does he not only have to be (obviously) gay, he has to be entirely effeminate? Are masculine gay men immune to Barbie’s charms? Maybe I’m overreacting here, but I find the whole thing really offensive and close-minded. I know many men, gay and straight, who secretly played with their sister’s dolls and somehow I don’t think this ad is helping to abolish the stupid gender norms that made them afraid to ask for their own Barbie for Christmas. And don’t even get me started on the little girls in the ad. Is being a superficial air-head something we want our girls to aspire to be? Come on, Mattel. You can do better.
Thoughts? Am I being overly sensitive here? Would love to hear what you think.