Like it or not, Barbie is a toy icon that little girls look up to. Even though some criticize Barbie for setting unrealistic expectations for body image -- disproportionally narrow waist-to-breast-to-height ratio -- some of her scantily clad outfit choices, she does promote some redeeming qualities.
Barbie has held a variety of jobs -- doctor, businesswoman, chef, etc. She can be sporty, girly, smart (yes, Barbie has tiny glasses to signify her intelligence). She's also successful: she has a huge mansion and a nice car.
But what of the latest Barbie -- Tokidoki -- which is tattooed, wears leopard print tights and has pink hair. Although Tokidoki is under the "For the adult collector" what message is it portraying? I mean, she has a dog in a spiked suit -- dog's name is Bastardino.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle blog, even though the $50 doll is meant for adults, some parents are upset:
“If I give it to [my daughter] she will think [tattoos are] okay. She may want to go get some.”
“It’s teaching kids to want tattoos before they are old enough to dress like that.”
The Daily Mail reports on commenter as saying:
'Encouraging children that tattoos are cool is wrong, wrong, wrong. Mattel why not put a cigarette and a beer bottle in her hand while you're at it!'
An even though Mattel's defense would be that this doll is not intended for children, it's still a doll; it's a toy; and it's under a brand that is marketed toward little girls. Even though parents are protesting the collectors item now, the Daily Mail does point out that this is not the first time Barbie has been associated with tattoos -- it's just the first time the tattoos have already been applied. The 1990s brought Butterfly Art Barbie, which was taken off the market when parents complained. And in 1999, Mattel brought out Totally Styling Tattoos Barbie, which has removable sticker tattoos and a "tattoo gun stamp."
The release date of Tokidoki could not have been more perfect though. Set out on the market on Oct. 13, right in the middle of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Tokidoki's tattoos remind me of the protesting women. Aside from the platform heels and the state of posh cleanliness that Tokidoki has, of course.
Tokidoki is already on back-order till mid-November.