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The real story behind the boy in the Barbie commercial

November 18, 2015 5:16 pm

Mattel was praised for challenging stereotypes with a new ad featuring a little boy playing with the doll, but there’s more to the story.

The story begins with Moschino Barbie. Back in October, the Italian fashion company Moschino announced a partnership with Mattel’s Barbie, which would take the form of a limited-edition doll draped in miniaturised Moschino clothing and jewellery, plus a line of corresponding adult-size wear.

The new doll – Moschino Barbie – was a huge hit and sold out in less than a day on 9 November.

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It took a little bit longer for the internet to take notice of the ad that went up on YouTube for the doll – and for the inclusion of a mohawk-sporting little boy alongside two girls, giddily playing with Barbie’s tiny handbag and mobile phone.

“Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” he exclaims in the campy spot, giving the camera an adorable wink at the end.

Fans of the ad were quick to heap praise on Mattel and on Barbie, which has been criticised for years for promoting gender stereotypes and impossible body image for girls.

“Kudos to Barbie for having a little boy in their commercial #eliminategendernorms,” one person tweeted.

“People are losing their minds because for the first time in 56 years, the face of the brand is a little boy,” wrote Buzzfeed.

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