Friday, January 8, 2016

What you should not have gotten your kids. . . posted without comment.

Mattel Jumps on Gender Fluidity Bandwagon with Moschino Barbie Ads Aimed at Boys

In a lame attempt to compete with the eternal popularity of Disney princesses, Mattel partnered with high-end fashion line Moschino to increase sales this holiday season. While Disney offers princesses with superpowers, Mattel offers chicks with super wardrobes. But it isn’t her outfits that make Moschino Barbie a standout in the crowd. It’s the fact that she’s no longer marketed just to girls. Jumping on the gender fluidity bandwagon, Mattel has decided to market their latest dolls to boys.

Boys, mind you, with George Michael-esque hairdos that require more product and styling than most women employ for their weddings. “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” he declares as he loops a leatherette purse over Barbie's shoulder.

A second commercial features a series of girls enacting various professions. Taking the emasculation of the next generation to a new level, one is the coach of an all-male soccer team. That’s right, girls aren’t girls unless they’re giving the orders. And boys aren’t boys unless they’re playing like… girls?
An NPR segment on the commercials is telling when it comes to the motives of both Mattel and Barbie’s feminist critics. If you think these folks give two wits about boys, think again. In their mind, boys are a mere foil for their target market. Boys only exist to make girls feel better about themselves, whether by imitating their feminine behavior or taking their orders. Boys have never and will never be the target market for female doll makers. They are simply pawns used to play up to a target market’s parents' politically correct notions.

So, if you let your little boy play with girls’ dolls are you giving in? A more realistic dual-gendered commercial would feature boys playing with Ken, boys beating Barbie up with G.I. Joes, or better yet, boys sneaking a peek up Barbie’s sweater. (Don’t think girls didn’t look there, either, albeit for completely different reasons.) Is this ad in any way culturally relevant for the majority of American boys?

The answer is: It isn’t. That’s why Mattel will never air the ad during prime kid TV time. In fact, the ad was the creative brainchild of Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott. The boy in it was fashioned after the gay designer whose biopic reads like a Lifetime movie of the week, and whose fashion is a stereotypical pop culture smash. Kids might never see the Mattel version of his alter-ego, but they’ll get plenty of the real thing thanks to Katy Perry and the like. Despite his professed hipster nihilism, Scott believes fashion should be transgressive. Who wouldn’t want their eight-year-olds violating social acceptability through imaginative play?

But, the Barbie brand as-is isn’t selling. Transgression, it would seem, is Mattel’s only choice. So, the girls that are their target market are not being taught to trust boys as strong, independent providers. Rather, they are being taught that the only safe boys to be around are the ones who act girly, just like them. Moreover, they are learning that they must take control over men in order to be respected and remain safe. Where’s the fun in all that?


May Palmer, The Queen of Ivory Soul said...

All I can say is: 'Oh No, you didn't!!!" Come Lawd Jesus!! Amen!

ngb said...

Lest any of Pastor Peters' readers get too upset by this, it is worth pointing out that this commercial was a parody of 1980s Barbie commercials (a "fauxmercial"), directed at an adult audience who would remember the commercials from that time. Italian fashion house Moschino collaborated with Mattel to make a collectors' limited edition Moschino Barbie. 700 Barbies were made, selling at $150 apiece (due to this commercial, they all sold out within an hour, and some are now selling on eBay for up to $900). The matching Moschino T-shirt sells for $375 ( Neither the doll nor the commercial were ever directed at children. It was all part of a promotion aimed at adults.

The article Pastor Peters linked to is, unfortunately, nothing more than an outrage piece.

More balanced coverage can be found here:

Mabel said...

I have a friend who has quite a few of those collectors edition Barbies. Those are kept in their boxes and sometimes taken to doll shows which are a big deal along collectors. They also keep her husband and his buddies out of her doll room as the dolls all glare at visitors.

Little girls play with the cheaper Barbies that invariably end up under the bed, nekkid. I was playing Barbies with my little niece a few years ago and Ken's limited wardrobe had gotten lost. To keep him from being unclothed among the stylishly attired Barbies, Ken was put into an old doll dress. Pastor P. would have been horrified, but my niece regarded Ken as a minor character while the Barbies got to do the fun stuff. Niece has outgrown Barbie now.
Relax, everyone. It's just a toy for children and sometimes a hobby for adults.

ErnestO said...

Luther on comfort in the ministry: "It is remarkable that God has committed to us preachers the ministry of the Word for the ruling of men's hearts, which we can't look into. But this is the office of God, who says to us, 'Preach! I shall give the increase. I know the hearts of men.' This should be our comfort, even when the world laughs at our office."

LW 54: Table Talk No. 3492