To say I loved Barbies as a child would be an understatement. I had the Barbie bike (complete with fuchsia streamers on the handles), Barbie Jeep, Barbie Dream Pool, Barbie Van, Barbie lip gloss, and even Barbie nightgowns with matching minis for the dolls to wear. So naturally, when I heard about the controversy surrounding the newest addition to the Barbie clan, I took an immediate interest.
Last week, Mattel released the tokidoki Barbie Doll, a collector’s limited edition designed by the tokidoki lifestyle brand. This one sports a pink bob, leopard leggings, and tattoos on her arm and chest. And though the doll has already sold out, it has earned a storm of detractors. The article in the DailyMail quoted one irate parent who’d gone online to say “Encouraging children that tattoos are cool is wrong, wrong, wrong. Mattel why not put a cigarette and a beer bottle in her hand while you’re at it!”
Ok, first of all, tokidoki Barbie is not the first “alternative” member of the Mattel family. The 1998 Butterfly Art Barbie came with (temporary) butterfly tattoos for both you and your doll to enjoy. The 2008 Hard Rock Café Barbie wore a spider necklace, red fishnets, and black streaks in her hair. And then there was the 2009 Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie, which is pretty self-explanatory.
At this point, shouldn’t we all know better than to assume that tattoos are an indication that someone has a problem with cigarettes or alcohol? Personally, I like to see Barbie rocking pink hair and glittery heels, and she wears her tats with confidence. At her best, Barbie reflects diverse ideas of beauty. And in the end, she’s just a doll.
What do you think of the new tokidoki Barbie?
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