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Boy In Barbie Commercial Spurs Debate About Gender Stereotypes (Video)

The newest Barbie commercial is turning heads by featuring a boy for the first time (video below).

In the ad, the young boy and two female friends play with the dolls and her accessories inspired by the designer Moschino, reports The Washington Post. “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” the boy says before putting a black and gold purse on Barbie's arm.

The ad is the most recent move by various companies to remove gender-based stereotypes from products. Earlier this year, retailer Target decided to remove gender-based signs in certain departments. This move was a response to feedback from shoppers who believed that determining what products are specifically for girls and what products are for boys, could potentially be harmful.

In an August 2015 statement, Target explains the reasoning behind the change: "We know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary."

"This change will play a role in shifting the way kids see themselves as consumers and will help to shift the way adults see the role of gender in childhood," said Melissa Atkins Wardy of Target's decision on her blog.

In an article for The Advocate, Seamus Kirst describes the shame he felt as a boy who played with dolls. "You get so sick of hearing 'Why are you playing with girls’ toys?' ... so you just start doing it out of sight, on your own, secretly," he wrote.

Some have criticized this shift.

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"I dont get why people would celebrate the shameful representation of a gay stereotype imposed on a child on a toy commercial," said one YouTube comment on the Barbie commercial.

"'So fierce!!' - The boy's balls ain't even dropped, and he's already swinging the other way," said another comment.

"Just another attempt to break down gender roles, and destroy masculinity."

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Despite the dissent, many agree that moving away from gender-based distinctions is a step in the right direction.

"I'm like crying right now, this is so cute and I wish we've had had this when I was a little boy :) <3," exclaimed a grateful YouTuber.

Sources: The Washington Post, Pig Tail Pals, Target Corporate, The Advocate / Photo credit: YouTube

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