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Archive for March, 2009

Barbie Ink

Have you heard about Mattel’s lastest creation?

This new “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos” Barbie?

Parents across the country are said to be outraged.

I can’t help but feel completely outraged myself.

How can it be the teenie tiny butterfly stickers, that come with this new Barbie doll, that parents find so outrageous?

Call me crazy but wouldn’t it be a tad healthier to be inspired to get a teenie tatt, than it would to be inspired to LOOK like the impossibly proportioned Barbie?

I find it down right nuts that there are some parents out there who feel that it’s okay for a young girl to be surrounded by piles of these mini models in their rooms, but add a heart sticker to the back of her bony shoulder and ooooohhhh SNAP, now we’ve got a problem!? Did these parents think for a second about the Barbie doll itself before it was brought into the home? Did the parents look at the thing and ponder who she is, what she stands for?

I mean, what is a girl to think when her first learning toy is tall anorexic blonde who rolls a pink corvette and chills in a plush mansion?

And the rents are plexing on some stickers stuck to her?

I’m so confused.

I was a bit of a tom boy growing up, so Barbies weren’t my thing. I had a My Little Pony and rocked a Care Bears hoodie, but that’s as far as I went with the frilly stuff. Once I was given a Barbie spa as a birthday gift, but since I didn’t have any Barbies to put in it, my brother and I added it to his GI Joe training camp he had set up in the backyard. It was pretty sweet, but it broke after a few sessions.

I did have one friend who collected all of the Barbie items … we’re talking the whole 9 … the mansion, the car, the horse, the vacation hut, hundreds of outfits and the microscopic purses to match each one. Every birthday, every holiday, was all about raking in the Barbie goods and her parents didn’t hold back. I distinctly remember thinking it was all really lame.

I remember asking myself, who are these rail thin, busty blondes with giant smiles smothered in lipstick? None of our moms looked like her. None of our teachers resembled that. Not our friends or our big sisters.

Who is this Barbie?

It’s funny, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking about how many women look Barbie-esque these days … I just pictured those trainwrecked “real housewives of the OC” … ugh … and they’re everywhere. Times have changed. Is it because of the doll?

I believe that she is part of it, yes.

Girls have been playing with Barbie since 1959, but thanks to technology and the advancing medical field, her look has become much more visible and much more attainable.

I believe Mattel’s Barbie doll helped fuel the fire of the distorted self image that women and young girls walk around with every day. Is Mattel soley responsible for girls starving themselves, getting boob jobs, nose jobs, blonde highlights and extra long hair extensions? No, but it was and is certainly instrumental.

Which is where the parents come in. It’s the choice of the parents whether or not to let their children collect Barbie dolls and watch whatever trashy reality show is on the tv. It’s the parents’ decision whether or not to talk to their kids about what it all means.

The fact that mothers and fathers would make a decision to allow Barbie into the playrooms of their children and NOT BE DISTURBED AT ALL BY THEIR DAUGHTER HAVING THE IDEA THAT SHE WILL ONE DAY GROW UP TO LOOK JUST LIKE HER PRECIOUS BARBIE … but be thoroughly disturbed by their daughter one day growing up and getting a “totally stylin’ tattoo” is absolutely MAD to me.

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