The Barbie Liberation Organization sheds a light on the strong gendering of children’s toys with Barbie and GI Joe products. Over the years though, I find it interesting that Barbie has seemed to show efforts in trying to break away from traditional gender norms; whether they’re effective or not can be debatable, but there is no denying that there is effort. In 2015, Barbie released a commercial for their new Moschino doll, and the commercial featured a boy playing with it. Also in 2015, Barbie released a commercial called Imagine the Possibilities. In the commercial, young girls are seen teaching college courses, working as a veterinarian, coaching a soccer team, being a museum tour guide, and even conducting business over the phone at the airport. The commercial ends with the words, “When a girls plays with Barbie, she imagines everything she can become.” Even in 2016, Barbie released a line of dolls containing new varieties of skin tones and body types. It seems that in recent years, Barbie has (finally) gotten the message that not all young girls look and think a like and while they may not be massive changes, they are changes that are heading in the right direction. On the other hand, I wasn’t able to find anything from GI Joe advertising that made similar strides. I couldn’t find any commercials or ads with girls. And I couldn’t find any commercials or ads that encouraged young boys to be anything but strong hyper-masculine war men.
Moschino Barbie commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwMAcCztnlM
Imagine the Possibilities commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1vnsqbnAkk