The latest Barbie doll comes with tattoos across her left arm, neck and chest, something that has apparently prompted an outrage amongst parents. Because hey, Barbie was always such an amazing role model for young girls.
The new, limited edition Barbie is the work of Mattel and Italy-based brand Tokidoki and sells for $50. She sports a pink bob, leopard print leggings, a dog called ‘Bastardino’ and tattoos. Supposedly, this has invited the wrath of parents across the land.
Yet are the irate parents really out there, or are they a media fabrication?
Well, they do exist. But this Daily Mail piece resorts to hunting around obscure websites for “tweenage” girls, just to locate a negative opinion about Barbie’s new body art. None of the usual ‘experts’ are wheeled out to offer an opinion, and that’s probably because – like the rest of us – they don’t see this as A Big Deal.
This greater acceptance of an inked Barbie is probably down to the fact Mattel has already manufactured a tatted Barbie. In 1999, Butterfly Art Barbie was withdrawn from stores after parents complained. In 2009, the company released Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie, a doll with removable sticker tattoos that some people found a tittersome use for. When people complained about the latter, Mattel stuck to its guns.
In the case of 2009 Barbie, the Mail at least trotted out a so-called expert who droned a bit about how childrens’ play habits were becoming sexualized. But in 2011, nobody with a brain still located on Earth seriously believes a doll with tattoos is an issue.