Mattel is no stranger to doing designer Barbie's, and usually the results are rather hit-and-miss. Bob Mackie, famous for the crazy looks he designed for Cher in the 90's, seems to get Barbie's fantasy and potential for over-the-top grandeur. Christian Louboutin's cat-suited Barbie is kind of a snore. But, most people agree that the special-edition Barbie's are not really meant for your six-year-old girl to play with; these dolls are $50+ and they come with lots of tiny (licensed!) accesories. These are for adult collectors.
So, it makes me livid that parents seem to be up in arms over the special edition Tokidoki Barbie above. Oh no! She has PINK HAIR! And TATTOOS!!!! Clearly, our precious snowflakes will take one look at this Barbie and rush out to buy their first pack of Marlboros while stopping to get a skull inked on their tiny, tiny forearms. It's only one tiny, stiletto-mincing step from playing with a pink-haired, tatooed doll to becoming a--a--HARLOT!!!!!
Good grief. Get a grip, parents. First, your little girl probably shouldn't be playing with this doll anyway. She costs $50, and she belongs on a shelf. Second, what the fuck is the problem here? Are we seriously trying to slut-shame a Barbie doll? If my little girl comes to me and says, "Mommy, can I dye my hair pink and get a tattoo?" I will calmly respond, "If that's what you want, sweetie, we can talk about the hair, but the tattoo has to wait until you're 18 and can pay for it yourself. There is nothing wrong with a tattoo, but I want you to be sure you're mature enough to understand that you'll have it forever, and to appreciate it." I will respect my daughter enough to take her requests seriously, but I am still the mom. It will be a conversation.
Parents, what is it that truly scares you about the image above? I know scores of non-traditional people covered in ink with hair way wilder than that, and they are creative, talented, intelligent, inspiring people. A woman should be allowed to dress however she wants without people looking at her and calling her a harlot because she has magnolia flowers on her chest or candy-colored hair. And, we should be teaching our daughters that they can look however they want and still be extraordinary people. Barbie is not really the best role model for any little girl, but in this case, I'd make an exception. I wouldn't mind my girl playing with this one if it teaches her to be less judgemental. Sounds like that's a lesson a lot of parents need to learn.