The new Moschino Barbie might be cool — it sold out in less than an hour — but featuring a little boy in a Barbie commercial is cooler.
After decades of giving only the testimonies of young girls who love their Barbies, Mattel and Italian clothing house Moschino have teamed up in their latest ad to break down gender barriers.
The move follows other doll lines that have rejected old-school stereotypes in 2015, including the average-sized Lammily doll, the science-loving Project MC2 crew, and a line of Lego minifigs that work as engineers and mechanics.
“Moschino Barbie is so fierce,” says the young mohawked boy in the new commercial, before placing a tiny black purse on a doll’s forearm.
Dolls have become a contentious topic in recent years, primarily because no one can agree what function a doll (or action figure) is supposed to serve. Are they tools for escapist fantasies? Or are they supposed to teach kids healthy attitudes about gender roles and body image?
If they are mostly a way to have fun, Barbie’s impossible measurements and heavy interest in fashion over book smarts may seem less threatening.
The new commercial suggests Mattel is aware its world-famous doll has a teaching effect on the kids who play with her. Since the boy in the commerical says that Moschino Barbie is fierce, maybe someday he’ll use her as the example for cultivating his own ferocity.
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