Tattooed Barbie Doll Sparks Debate

A new Barbie doll that is being marketed as a collector’s item–with a $50 pricetag to match–is sparking discussion across the blogosphere because the doll has permanent tattoos.

The doll is made by Mattel and sold by tokidoki, a Japanese-inspired brand that makes fashion accessories, vinyl toys, watches, makeup, and skateboards.  In addition to the doll itself, tokidoki sells Barbie-inspired apparel featuring the iconic dolls with small tattoos on her neck.

Mattel insists that the doll is a limited-edition specialty item for adult Barbie collectors, and it is not being marketed to children.  But parents have mixed opinions on the matter.  From The Huffington Post:

Some parents aren’t too thrilled about tokidoki Barbie, stating the doll’s fashion sense and upper body tattoos set a bad example for young children.

“If I give it to [my daughter] she will think [tattoos are] okay. She may want to go get some,” Virginia resident Bill Smith told ABC 13 News.

“It’s teaching kids to want tattoos before they are old enough to dress like that,” Virginia resident Kevin Buckner also told the station.

However, others are pointing out that Barbie’s new look is better than the alternative.

“I much prefer tattoos to unrealistic proportions and the message that the most important thing is to be pretty and get a boy. Good for you Mattel for making a doll a little more like the rest of us. I consider it a tiny step in the right direction,” stated a comment featured on Babble blog, ‘Strollerderby.’

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  1. by Amanda

    On October 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Should we really be teaching our kids to judge someone based on if they have a tattoo or not? Also, look at the medium in which we’re using to teach this judgement, a barbie. When a parent decides its ok to condone huge boobs and an impossible body image, why then would it be so outlandish to have that doll tattooed as well. I find this issue a bit ridiculous.

  2. by Helen

    On October 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I agree Amanda! Plus we grew up believeing Barbie could be anything she wants to be, & can do anything she wants. Well believe it or not, not everyone is as conservative as the parents who are against this! Sorry but some of us live in the real world where people have rainbow hair, pierceings & tattoos. I have tattoos, so I don’t see the problem. If you don’t want your daughter to have a doll with tattoos because you have some issue with those of us who have them, then don’t buy her the doll! It really is that easy. But I would buy it for my daughter, because tattoos don’t define the person. And as Amanda has already stated. Barbie has an impossible body! So if that’s ok why not this?

  3. [...] Blogosphere has been buzzing with media coverage of outraged parents from the Huffington Post to Television coverage of parents’ concerns about the doll include the “Today” [...]

  4. by Marlene Roman

    On January 13, 2012 at 12:17 am

    There are many people on Earth… and NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME… Barbie should be able to be and or look however “she wants” I dont have tattoos but I love how they look on some people, I teach my children no to judge anyone by what they wear or what they look like, and I think thats the way it should be.