updated 2 Aug 2014, 21:03
Login password or
The New Paper
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Tattoo Barbie provokes parents

SHE has wowed children, and some adults, around the world with her blonde locks, slender legs and sweet smile.

But the latest makeover was not what they were expecting.

Barbie has been given a set of tattoos to celebrate her 50th birthday.
The doll's makers, Mattel, insist the move will bring Barbie and her brunette equivalent Nikki up to date, reported The Daily Mail.

The Sun reported that the new dolls hope to convey the message that girls can make Barbie look like their heroines.

The new Barbie dolls are part of Mattel's 'Totally Tattoos' range, and each will cost around £20 (S$44) in toy stores and online sites.

Each doll has a description that reads: 'Over 40 easy, no-mess tattoos to design and decorate Barbie doll's fashions. Customise the fashions and apply the fun temporary tattoos on you too.

'This type of open-ended, creative play is a healthy form of self expression that Barbie brings to girls.'

The tattoo transfers, which are applied with a washable ink, include a mix of hearts, flowers, stars, rabbits, butterflies and a Barbie silhouette.

There are no plans to give Ken, Barbie's beau, any tattoos.

Critics say the tattoed dolls will further encourage the sexualisation of young girls.

Mr Ed Mayo, chief executive of the watchdog Consumer Focus, said parents 'will be dismayed' because their children might pester them to get tattoos themselves.

He said: 'A multi-million-pound industry is now targeting children and the cynic would say that Mattel is simply courting controversy in order to give Barbie more of an edge.

'There is always a fine line to draw with toys for young children, but my personal view is that this launch will make life harder for parents - including those that were once Barbie fans themselves.'

Earlier this year, Mr Mayo, the author of the book Consumer Kids: How Big Business Is Grooming Our Children For Profit, successfully lobbied bookstore chain W H Smith to drop a range of Playboy-themed children's stationery.

Dumbing down

Mattel has twice misjudged the public reaction to Barbie products - once in 1999 when a version with a tattooed belly was taken off the shelves and once when a pregnant doll was brought out.

Mrs Colleen Pope, 35, from Bournemouth, said: 'Tattoos are common and if it leads girls to get one, they might regret it for the rest of their lives.

'It is dumbing right down - Barbie should be at the high end of fashion, not the chav (low) end.

'Whatever will they bring out next? Drug-addict Barbie? Alcoholic Barbie?'

Barbie's first boyfriend, Ken, was brought out two years after Barbie herself in 1961.

The couple broke up in 2004, but were reunited on Valentine's Day earlier this year.

This article was first published in The New Paper

more: tattoo, barbie
readers' comments

Copyright © 2014 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.