As part of Mattel and Barbie’s spring line (I didn’t realize she HAD a spring line, let alone any “line” at all), the newly inked Barbie comes with a set of tattoo stickers that can be placed on her body as well the body of her owner.
The object on the far right? That’s a tattoo gun. Well, more like a water gun so kids can apply the washable tattoos wherever they so please.
To be quite honest, I’m not quite sure what to think of this. On the one hand, it’s great to see what is arguably THE most pointed-at object of unrealistic representations of women “wear” something that, statistically, 1 in 4 women have and could signal a shift of opinion over the perceived taboo nature of tattoos. Plus, the tattoos offered are pretty innocuous and standard fare of butterflies and flowers - though I think some poorly translated Kanji, barbed-wire and Yakuza tattoos could’ve been thrown in there as well.
However, this IS still Barbie and Mattel we’re talking about here. I can’t help but think this is another instance of corporate appropriation, like what MTV did with street/graffiti culture. Obviously, there’s been an uproar about this new Barbie with many parents saying they would never buy it for their daughters as it “encourages girls to show off their bodies,” especially when the median age for Barbie owners is 10 to 13. Mattel has stated that they are not planning on discontinuing it as apparently, sales have been doing very well. Well, at least the Toys R’ Us stock is out.
What do you guys think? Are these parents overreacting or are they right to be concerned?
Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie could soon evolve into the following!