Barbies for boys

J Crew ad with Creative Director Jenna Lyons who painted her son’s toenails pink in this ad. The ad caused some controversy because it challenged traditional gender roles.

As a kid I always wanted barbies and dolls. I never wanted to play with “boy” toys. I enjoyed Legos and some action figures but not nearly as much as a doll or Barbie.

My parents were very much against me playing with any “girl” toys so as a middle ground I was able to play with My Little Pony. But my grandmother (who lived in Israel), saw no issue with me playing with dolls. I’ll never forget the day she sent me a doll as long as I live. It was such a simple gesture and it brought me more joy than I can even express. I automatically tear up whenever I think of that amazing and brave act of kindness.

My point of sharing that story is that there is that toys shouldn’t follow gender guidelines. If a boy wants to play with a doll, it’s ok. He shouldn’t be made to feel like he is less than or weird for that. Why is pink a girls color and why is blue a boys color? Because some marketers decided that years ago. Something to think about…