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New Tattooed Barbie Doll has Some Parents Upset


The iconic Barbie doll that has been around since 1959 and somehow managed to never age has received a modern day tweaking by an Italian designer and surprise, surprise…some parents aren’t too happy about it.

The new Barbie is based on a Japanese style of dress called tokidoki defined by Wikipedia as “…the Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand created in 2005 by Italian artist Simone Legno and his business partners Pooneh Mohajer and Ivan Arnold.” As you can see in the picture above, this version of every little girl’s best friend features a bright pink, bob-style haircut along with a short mini skirt, leopard print leggings, and a black t-shirt that hangs over one shoulder.

But more than anything, the one new feature that has parents in a tizzy is the highly visible ink that adorns Barbie’s neck and arms that she apparently picked up in between rave parties during her collage years when she may or may not have been trying to “find herself”.

This isn’t the first time Barbie has dabbled in the world of tattoos. Back in 2009, Mattel released a version called “Totally Stylin’ Tattoo” Barbie. The difference being, the tats in the 2009 version were merely stickers that could be applied and re-applied by whoever was playing with it. The only thing removing Tokidoki Barbie’s tats would be tattoo removal surgery or a blow torch.

The Huffington Post quotes some parents as saying the doll teaches kids to want tattoos before they’re old enough to decide if they want to dress like that. Another parent is quoted as saying that it will lead to kids thinking that tattoos are “okay”.

In their defense, the designer and Mattel themselves say that not every Barbie is created for the same audience. In the case of Tokidoki Barbie, it’s designed to be a collector piece, not a doll that would be actively played with.

In my opinion, tattoos are more socially acceptable now than they ever have been. The days of sailors and inmates being the only individuals to permanently embed some type of design into their skin is over. Look at all the reality shows based on tattoo shops, or the number of A-list celebrities sporting ink. To teach your child that tattoos aren’t okay, as I assume the one parent quoted in the Huffington Post article is doing, is teaching your child that being their own person and expressing themselves in an unique way is unacceptable. Maybe that’s just me, what do you think?

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