Barbie Tattoos? That’s right. The Internet is abuzz with a recently doll designed by L.A.-based tokidoki®. She’s a bad-ass Barbie.
In addition to her Manga-inspired tattoos, tokidoki® Barbie sports leopard-print leggings, a sweater sporting a skull and crossbones, a pink pleather skirt, and platinum-pink hair. She walks a dog in a dragon costume covered in sharp spikes She sports a pale pink bob, an annoyed-looking pet named Bastardino, along with a ton of tattoos on her neck and shoulders.
U.S. News & World Report, The Telegraph, the Today show, Good Morning America, and CNN, among any other media outlets report that parents are outraged and concerned about Barbie’s ink. As yet, most mainstream news sources have allegedly done scant research.
One unnamed source wrote, 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!
This is not the first time Barbie designers created tattoos. She sported ink in 2009 when Mattel released Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie. The doll came with 40 small tattoo stickers which children could place on the doll. When Mattel collaborated on a Barbie with Harley Davidson in 2008, the motorcycle company added a giant pair of wings tattooed on her back.
The $50 limited-edition Barbie, tokidoki® sparked some anger among parents for promoting positive images of tattooed women. Perhaps little girls need to learn that they’ll be judge for their looks early in childhood.
Those who appreciate tokidoki® Barbie argue the doll promotes acceptance of different conceptions of beauty. One commentator on Ms. Twixt, a parenting website, wrote Good for you Mattel for making a doll a little more like the rest of us. I consider it a tiny step in the right direction.
Still, the doll needs a makeover to portray body proportions more similar to a human being.
It is curious parents would express such concern over tattooed Barbie, but not the doll’s negative impact on young girls’ images about their bodies. For example, in 1965 Mattel released a “Slumber Party Barbie,” complete with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 pounds. The doll also came with a book entitled How to Lose Weight which contained sage advice—“Don’t Eat.”
The matching Ken doll also came with slumber party accessories, but his were milk and cookies.
Here in L.A., folks at the tokidoki® offices are shaking their heads in wonderment at the media frenzy and fielding phone calls in amusement. It’s a lot of fuss over a $50 doll that has been marked For adult collectors only.
A spokesperson for tokidoki® stated, The doll was meant for adult collectors. Only 7,400 were made; it’s only available online. It’s not like your kid is going to pick this up at Target.
The tokidoki® Barbie went on sale October 9th, 2011. This version is just one of a series of Mattel-designer collaboration over the years. Mattel’s Barbie Collector website advertises Barbie clad in a full leather cat suit designed by Christian Louboutin ($150) and a Bob Mackie Countess Dracula Barbie with a deep-V dress that descends below her belly button would be.
Simone Legno tokidoki® designer said that he thought the collaboration went well. I was happy to design something so very tokidoki® for the Mattel customer and still stay true to who we are, crossing that branded bridge.
Hopefully, the next Barbie will be a beautiful plus size doll like the most American women. How about a body building doll? In fact, there already are normal-looking dolls on the market.
Mad Mike’s America thanks the L.A. Times.
Why don’t advertisers target parents to buy little girls get chemistry and construction sets or cars? Are Barbie dolls harmful to young girls’ self esteem?