Sunday 25th June 2017,

Evolution of Barbie Sparks Yet More Controversy

It may be a step away from the usual student fashion and education news but I’m sure there are a few big kids out there or even those just interested in the Barbie scandal who will want to know of the latest controversy to hit the news this week.

Barbie came on to the toy market in 1959 to few cheers from the toy critics but the general public loved her.  She was an immediate success with little girls worldwide making houses, taking their brand new doll out on shopping trips and combing their hair but soon came the uproar from parents who deemed Barbie too skinny, too shallow and too consumerist.

Of course Barbie loves shopping but surely being a doctor, teacher, veterinarian, rapper and even an astronaut gives her the right to spoil herself every once in a while.  Now, I know she’s not real, just a toy and obviously doesn’t pop off to the shops every now and again but it seems the parents around the world have forgotten that she is just a toy.

Since her launch into the world of toys she has been the subject of much criticism.  Parents have claimed that she is setting an impossible standard and perhaps she is but what about the thousands of celebrities that really are role models for kids across the world?

If Barbie was a real person she would probably fall over.  Her tiny waste would not be able to support her bust, let alone her over-sized head but like the majority of models in the model industry she is setting unrealistic expectations of beauty.

Although poor Barbie has been constantly criticised throughout her 52-year history (and just as good looking as when she first hit the scene, might I add) for setting a bad example to young girls with her ditzy character (cue comments on her much maligned “I love shopping!” and “I hate maths!” statements) and unrealistic figure, it is the latest Barbie which has caused much fuss across the US.

A new tattooed Barbie doll has been launched by manufacturers Mattel who sports a pink bob, leopard print tights and a black top etched with a skull and crossbones logo.  She comes complete with sunglasses, a purse and even a little dog that goes by the name of ‘Bastardino’.  Whilst this new doll is a complete step away from her usual girlish looks, still she is causing controversy amongst parents (obviously).

According to these parents, the new Barbie is “over-sexualised” and “inappropriate” and is apparently “a calculated attempt to play on young girls’ natural desire to appear older” but the funny thing is that this doll isn’t even aimed at children but instead at the adult collectors.

The doll is sold on the Barbie website but only on a special section which caters only for adults, plus it is nowhere to be seen on the rest of the site.  So, what’s the problem?

Complaining parents fear that this new Barbie will inspire kids to get tattoos themselves but obviously these kids can’t actually get a tattoo until they are 18 and by then will probably completely forgotten about this doll (which isn’t for kids anyway!).  Plus, most children who do play with Barbies these days will be used to seeing tattoos.  After all, you can’t hide their prying eyes from the modern world, the general public, TV shows filled with actors and the celebrities that cover magazines each and every day.

Let us finish with a quote that completely sums up the idea that parents should stop worrying about a toy and perhaps start worrying about the celebrities that their kids look up to and generally just parent them properly so they grow up not wanting a tattoo or wearing short skirts if that is what they so desire.

“At the end of the day, the doll does not model behaviour,” says Chris Byrne of timetoplaymag.com. “If you don’t like tattoos, it’s your obligation as a parent to not allow tattoos. Children will do things in play that they aren’t going to replicate in life.”

Here, here!

Want to keep up with the latest student fashion and education news from the nation’s premier student portal Young Academic?  Follow our tweets at @YoungAcademic or subscribe to the RSS feeds where you can find the latest.

Like this Article? Share it!

About The Author

Rachel Deer is a recent graduate of the University of Chester gaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology. She is now working with Young Academic and responsible for a range of editorial tasks including collating press releases, chasing images and organising interviews. Her interests include photography, music, fashion and current affairs. Keep up-to-date with Rachel’s work via the website and follow her tweets at @rachdotdeer or connect with her on Google+

6 Comments

Leave A Response