Just in time for the holidays Mattel published a new video on YouTube to promote their newest Barbie doll, Moschino Barbie. The video marks the first time Mattel has promoted a Barbie doll with a boy (along with two girls).
The ad is timely as sexual identity is becoming an ever increasing talking point in politics, popular culture, and capitalism. It was earlier this year when conservatives went into hysterics when Target announced it would no longer separate its toys and beddings based on gender in August 2015.
This was a brave and bold move from Mattel. One shoudl commend the toy company for trying to break those invisible chains society has on our children that says boys play with Hot Wheels and Tonka and GI Joes while girls have Barbies and Bratz.
But why is he so flamboyant?
Interestingly enough the company went with a stylish boy with perfectly coifed hair that I'm jealous of wearing Moschino clothes I can only dream of affording one day. And his first line is:
Yes, she is. But why did the marketers choose that phrase for this commercial?
"Fierce" as a colloquialism can be associated with fashion. It was made popular on shows such as "America's Next Top Model" and "Project Runway." In that sense, the line works. Moschino is a fashion brand and therefore a stylish boy calling Barbie fierce shouldn't offend anybody.
However, the term fierce is also popular in the gay community, gaining popularity from its use on "RuPaul's Drag Race." He's young. He's stylish. He uses the word "fierce." He's obviously a gay.
And there's my issue with this ad. The marketers knew this child could be interpreted as a homosexual. And, in a way it cheapens Mattel's milestone. Boys can use Barbie dolls as long as they're obviously gay.
Of course being stylish and using words like fierce does not mean one is gay. The child in the commercial (not the actor but the character) could be straight. He just might really like fashion and has aspirations of creating his own high fashion line. He could be a metrosexual.
Overall, I think this is a step in the right direction. But there's still much room for improvement.
What are your thoughts?