There’s SOOOO Much Wrong With This Ad, I Don’t Know Where to Begin!


Mattel has a new TV ad out for Moschino Barbie. First of all, the Moschino clothes are totally slutty and wholly wrong for clean-cut Barbie. Ken wouldn’t give her a second look in her black leather outfit. Then, the ad team decided it would be appropriate to show a young boy excited about HIS Barbie.


Here are my problems:

1. Did the ad agency making the video specifically do a casting call for a gay boy?

2. Is this child actually out as gay, at his age?

3. Did his parents sign him up for this commercial and tell him he’s to play a gay boy?

4. Who decided they should stereotype the gay boy and give him a lousy haircut and a high voice?

Our favorite family story is our oldest son asked for (and got) a PJ Sparkles doll when he was very young. Would I have cared had we thought he was gay and that’s why he was asking? No, but we knew he was such a boys boy, all trucks, guns and climbing that I never thought for a second about the request. If a boy wants to play with a doll, okay, it’s not a problem for me.

What I vehemently object to about this ad is that the agency decided to make this boy so over the top obviously gay. Pandering to a certain audience. Mattel would have been better off making the boy a rough and tumble guy, showing real boys can love Barbie dolls too. Even one as hideous as this Moschino one.

Or, Mattel could have just left the ad with all girls playing with their Barbies since I bet 99.999% of purchases are made for girls.

What do you think of the ad?

26 thoughts on “There’s SOOOO Much Wrong With This Ad, I Don’t Know Where to Begin!

  1. Awful. Pandering for sure and I think they will lose more customers than they gain from this. This boy is so young! But I have read about parents encouraging their 5 year old kids to start changing genders. It’s child abuse in my opinion. On a positive note: I now know how to pronounce Moschino. I was saying Mo- she- no.

        1. I never dressed like this Barbie – even in my rebellious years chris! Tacky. Now, Madonna, she’s different. I definitely had my Desperately Seeking Susan phase. Or maybe it was Fame. Leg warmers, the whole deal. Big, curly hair, big dangly earrings. Actually I kept the earring thing 🙂

        2. OMG I didn’t see the video! (got the e-mail which had just your comment). Ha Ha – I don’t remember that car crash. That was a good hairdo!

  2. My grandson loves to play in the pretend kitchen he and his sister share but without prompting or without any words from his parents or me, he “knows” dolls are for girls. His idea of playing with a doll would be running her over with his monster truck.

    The ad is horrible, on every level you suggested. I think the LGBT community would be offended that the agency decided to make this boy so effeminate.

    1. It’s interesting to watch children play house happily in a play kitchen. I don’t know a boy yet who doesn’t love to pretend cook or make coffee. It’s imagination at work. I don’t know what marks the difference in their minds between playing in the kitchen and playing with dolls – what exactly makes one okay for both sexes and one boys consider just for girls.

  3. Hey, you are alive. I thought you gave up blogging. (horrors).

    Mattel was out to make a point and they failed. I think they made it WORSE for the young boy who isn’t gay who might want to play with a doll. He sees that ad and might wonder if he’s gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, really, but to go to such great lengths to feminize the boy is as you and Toonces said, clear pandering.

      1. EOSr:

        What do I think? Thank you so much for asking!!

        I agree this is a frightening commercial. But aren’t you upset, as an Italian, that Mosquito Barbie is a stereotypical guidette? Big hair, tight leather pants, lots of gold jewelry? They gave one Mosquito Barbie such a dark tan, she almost looks black!! And trust me, I know what guidettes look like. I dated several back in the day.

        How old do you think these kids are? Seven? I doubt they know what their sexuality is yet. But I hope the little flamer is gay, because if he is straight, all his friends will torture him over this commercial FOREVER!! He will never escape it. And wouldn’t little gay boys prefer a Mosquito Ken doll? Why would he want a Barbie? It is all so confusing.

        Now, I think a boy WANTING a Mosquito Barbie is different than a boy PLAYING with a Mosquito Barbie. I had sisters, and I admit I would occasionally play with their Barbies. I would run them over with my toy trucks, and yes, occasionally my GI Joe would hump them. The Barbie, not my sisters. And yes, I must admit I snuck a peek down Barbies undies. Who wouldn’t? But I don’t want you to think I was a perverted little kid. I was probably 17 when I did it.

        Anyhows, I think we agree this commercial is in bad taste.

        Your Pal,

        1. Actually Wa – um – anonymous, little boys who identify as gay draw girls when asked to do a self portrait. I know this from my (gay) friend Donald who explained that he was hauled to the principal’s office by a teacher after he was caught drawing naked girls in class. So maybe they would want to play with a barbie and not a ken doll.

        2. I’m sure I told you that when I got hitched I crossed over from a multi-syllabic name with a lot of vowels that had to be spelled to be understood to a single syllable name with one vowel, in the middle, NOT at the end or beginning! But happily the name change didn’t remove the guidette in me. Once a guidette, always a guidette.

          I’ve heard gay friends and family say they’ve known their sexuality since a very young age so I don’t think it’s impossible this young boy, if is IS gay, knows it. And if he isn’t gay, he’ll be on Oprah, Where Are They Now a few years from now. Or Dr. Phil.

        3. My very good friend told me this theory – as a way to explain to me how his mom dealt with his confused sexuality at a very young age. (she took him to the beach and ignored the warning from the principal that something was the matter with her son) He was about 6 and was caught doodling pictures of girls (faces and bodies) in class. Remember as a little girl drawing pictures of princesses? Girls don’t draw kings, they draw themselves, as princesses. Well, my friend believes at a young age he identified more with girls. Which, you’re right, sounds more transgender than gay. He told me this story back in the early 90’s when really not many people were discussing transgender people, but gay was big. Anyway, he’s still gay, not transgender. I’ll go see if I can find something more scientific than “Toonces has a friend who says…”

        4. I can’t find anything yet. I think the government needs to do a study! 500K to some researchers to study this!

        5. Toonces –

          I guess that makes sense. If a boy is gay, but he feels like a girl, and they say do a self-portrait of yourself, they draw a girl, because that is what they want to be. Right? I think I understand that.

          But. BUT!! So how come a lot of lezbo’s try to look like men, and date other lezbo’s who LOOK LIKE MEN? Wouldn’t they want a hottie? That I would understand. How do you explain that one, Ms. Smarty Pants? It makes no sense!
          Your Pal,


          PS – EOSr – If any of your readers are lezbo’s I hope they know I mean no offense. I am just curious and trying to better understand this. And after all, we are mature adults, and should be able to discuss this in a serious manner. And feel free to have a tickle fight amongst yourselves, and post some pictures.

        6. Really, you think gay boys feel like girls? I disagree. They feel different than their male friends perhaps but I would have thought only transgender boys would do a self portrait as a girl. Not a traditional gay boy.

        7. I have the answer – I think! Most lesbian couples (but not all) are comprised of one manly girl and one “lipstick” lesbian. They have roles just like a hetero couple. But, yeah, there are the couples that are two manly girls and, I think, two lipstick lesbs. They mix it up I guess. The gay male couples too usually each have a female-ish dude and a manly-man dude.

        8. Sure, as long as that boy in the ad has told his parents he’s gay, then fine. But if he’s playing the role for Mattel’s need to appeal to social justice warriors, then no. Make sense?

        9. EOSr:

          No. I have no idea what gay boys think, and would never claim to. But in trying to better understand this issue, in response to what Toonces posited, it does make some sense, in my mind at least, that a man would feel like a woman if he is attracted to men. That to me at least, makes some sense. I could be totally wrong. But if they feel like men, I would think they would be attracted to women.

          And I don’t understand why woman are attracted to other woman, and want to look like men, but are attracted to other woman who look like men. I would think they would be attracted to women who look like woman. Does that make sense? And it really does get confusing, to me at least.

          I don’t pretend to have the answers, and as long as they are happy, that is fine by me. I just was trying to get my arms around the thought process. That’s all.

          Your Pal,

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