Barbie Turns Bad-Ass

Over the years, Barbie has caught a lot of flack–too thin, boobs too big, hair too blonde–but now, Barbie has decided to revamp her image and turn bad-ass. That’s right, Barbie has tattoos.

The new line, aptly named, “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Doll” is geared for adult collectors, though because it is sold on Mattel’s website and at Walmart children will probably become aware of her existence. From the run of the mill Virginian moms’ points of view, they say that it sets a bad example for young girls, making tattoos seem okay to get.  Obviously, my problem with that logic is that if any parent is worried about their kids seeing tattoos and wanting them, then they might want to lock them away until they’re 18, or maybe the parent should actually talk to their kids about tattooing.  

Anyhoo, I say kudos to Mattel for keeping up with the times by embracing and showing what different demographics look like.  And  who knows what’s next? Lesbian Barbie?  Cellulite Barbie?  Nipple pierced Barbie?  Israeli Barbie?  Single mother with adopted baby Barbie?  The sky is the limit.  And though she may be facing a lot of criticism, Barbie has weathered worse and I’m sure she’ll come out unscathed, unscarred, and rocking some awesome ink.

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5 thoughts on “Barbie Turns Bad-Ass

  1. Karen Sullivan says:

    Wait, I thought the Totally Stylin’ Barbie was a minor ripple, but the Tokidoki Barbie was the one in the news all over the place. Totally Stylin’ Barbie is a couple years old, there was a minor thing when she came out, but the tattoos involved were a) temporary, and b) very femme. Like butterflies and hearts and pink stuff. The new Tokidoki Barbie has permanent and much more “aggressive” tattoos (they’re still pink, but more in the rockabilly/Bettie Page thick black outline style). That’s what everyone’s throwing a fit about right now. My point remains that my mother never would have bought me a fifty dollar doll back when I was doll-aged, and when I first saw this product it never even occurred to me that kids would play with it any more than that they would play with the Farrah Fawcett Barbie from last season. Also, female beauty is the most socially constructed thing ever, and there’s no reason why tattoos shouldn’t be seen as feminine and beautiful, or at least as feminine and beautiful as waxed legs or pierced ears or whatever.

    • jilliemae says:

      Hey Karen, you’re right, I didn’t list the picture of the Tokidoki Barbie but the Barbie with permanent tattoos has a tiger on her neck, and I’ve also seen a Barbie with a lower back tattoo (and in these cases, it is obviously a matter of personal style, especially with the lower back tattoo, or the “tramp stamp”). I think that dolls with any sort of variation from the norm will get a rise out of someone, even as simple as pink hair, and you’re right, if Barbie had little specs of leg hair there would be a total outrage, especially from the young girls who own the Barbies. And I definitely think that tattoos are beautiful on women, and can transcend that stereotype that they are “trashy” or a sign of a “lose woman”. I also think that change needs to be slowly introduced into our culture, and that’s how it will occur. Something needs to be slowly be introduced into the collective dialogue, and then at first people may be up in arms, but then inevitably people get used to it, and then it breaks down that conservative rock bit by bit, opening the door for other necessary change.

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