Our View: Boys can play with Barbies too

Stater Editors

For the first time, a boy has been featured in a Mattel Barbie commercial. A blonde-haired boy can be spotted playing with a limited edition Moschino Barbie along with two other girls.

Barbie has received harsh criticisms over the years, namely for embodying the ideal way of how a woman should look (i.e. being thin). One criticism resulted from a paperback called “Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer.”

Barbie appeared as a computer engineer, but instead of being portrayed as intelligent, she causes a virus and needs help from two male friends who do the work for her. In hindsight, the company has a right to be scrutinized like this because of their powerful influence, especially on young girls, but now they’re attempting something admirable.

Society has often suggested that girls can plays with boy toys, but boys can’t play with girl toys. Women can portray feminine and masculine characteristics, but if a man shows feminine characteristics, he’s perceived as weak. It’s time to move forward. It’s time to break these gender stereotypes. In order for this to become a reality, children must be taught to move past them.

Some have complained the boy in the commercial perpetuates gay stereotypes: from his hair style to his line “so fierce,” for instance. Can’t we just be happy that we’re moving forward? People shouldn’t be assuming his sexuality anyway.

We support this commercial wholeheartedly and hope other toy companies continue to shatter the idea that toys can’t be gender neutral. Stores need to stop separating toys by gender. Target, for example, is already on track with this by removing suggestive gendered colors from its store.

The above editorial is a consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board, whose names are listed above.