Sunday, March 8, 2009

Barbie Gets Inked!

Remember my earlier post celebrating Barbie's 50th birthday, where everyone seemed to agree with my statement that little girls use their Barbies as a creative outlet? Remember when EVERYONE commented or came up to me and told me (outside of the blogosphere! omg!) that they used to draw tattoos on all of their barbies too? Well, Apparently Mattel has picked up on this 'popular' trend and created, Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie, which allows little girls to not only put little sparkly tattoos all over their doll, but on themselves as well.

As you can imagine, this new line of Barbie that comes complete with cutesy butterfly, hearts and flower tattoos has caused a lot of controversy, and parents world-wide have been filing complains stating Tattoo Barbie will make their little girls grow up too fast.

In this really hilarious and terribly written article, Robert Elessar states, "I don't know about the idea of little girls thinking about getting permanent tattoos before they graduate from medical school."
...WHAT? Yes Robert, all girls choose a path toward medical school, and they should wait until they've graduated to put ink on their bodies...???? How specific can you get?

Jenn Alcayaga, a parent from Sacramento, California, in a much more legit argument states, "It's attracting kids too young to want to expose parts of their body to show off tattoos."

In one way I think it's kinda cool, taking the MOST popular girl driven product and having her sport something that is usually seen as taboo. According to the Bitch Blog, only 1 in 4 women have tattoos, so essentially, this could create a giant shift in perspective. Plus, they're just moving a long with the changing times. It's not like they're giving Barbie tattoos of guns and spiders (like in these two photos where someone decided to give their own twist to tattoo barbie), it's still very innocent.

With that in mind, you also have to remember that Barbie is Mattel, and Mattel is a corporation who is obviously feeding off of the huge insurgence of tattoo culture and taking this opportunity for a little bit of corporate appropriation. Mattel argues that Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie, "let's children express themselves and be creative."

What do you think? Yay or nay?
Would you buy your kid Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie?

P.S. Happy International Women's Day! Don't forget to come celebrate tonight at Phog!


  1. I say "Fuck yeah". Like you said, Barbie is just keeping up with the times. It's not like kids will only be seeing tattoos on Barbie. Even if they don't get Tattoo Barbie, they'll see tattoos elsewhere; tattoos really truly ubiquitous. Chances are, dad/mom's got one (or two or ten) already!

  2. I had "Hollywood Barbie" when I was little and I could spray little stars in her hair AND in my hair too. Does that mean I still do that now, at 21 years old? Ahhhhh no...

  3. when i was little, i remember getting stickers from the dollar store or wherever, and wearing them on my ears, by my eyes, or on my arms... and there was that bubble gum that came with self-adhesive tattoos. i seriously used to cover my arms in them. that didnt lead our generation to rush out and cover ourselves in real tattoos in our preteens - i think mr elessar and these parents can breathe easy on this one lol.

    that being said, id totally buy a kid this barbie. i think if i wound up in walmart's toy aisle i may have a heard time not buying it for myself haha.

  4. I agree with all of you. It's not like Tattoo Barbie is the first time little girls have been exposed to tattoos. Even cracker jack boxes WAY back when had temp tattoos.

    Tattoo Barbie doesn't have tattoos already all over her. You get to pick and choose where you want to put them. Also, like I said before, little girls don't "look up" to their barbies. They control them and they play with their own creativity through them.

    Thanks for your feedback ladies!

  5. I agree with what everyone else has said. I also got stick on tattoos when I was little; from what I know, there are still self-adhesive Canada flag tattoos promoted around Canada Day. Why aren't the Canada Day tattoos causing any controversy? Is it ok to encourage patriotic expression through self-adhesive tattoos but not self-expression and creativity? Leave Barbie alone!

  6. "It's her birthday and she'll get tattooed if she wants to!"

  7. I like this tattooed Barbie. It's a way for kids to deface the typical 'beauty' of the blond-haired, big-boobed Barbie. Although, they are limited to the tattoos included with the doll; maybe they'll be inspired to take out a Sharpie and draw tribal arm bands or hip bone lettering.

    Barbie is such a badass.

  8. Everyone make's such a big idea about why tattoos are bad... i mean really, can somebody give me ONE good reason why someone (if they are an adult) decides to get a tattoo.

  9. when i was younger i used to always buy temporary tattoos of butterflies, roses, etc. this is basically the same but barbie is wearin the tattoos.
    i'm sure 8 year olds aren't going to go try and convince their parents to let them get tattoos. they will probably just get temp. tattoos which come off in like a day anyways.