Idol Chatter

tattoobarbie.jpgWith Barbie celebrating the big 5-0 this year, some might say she’s experiencing a mid-life crisis by going out and getting herself inked up.
“Totally Stylin’ Tattoos” Barbie–which comes with small tattoo stickers for Barbie and a “tattoo gun” for kids to stamp temporary tats on themselves–and has just hit shelves and some parents are finding this latest incarnation of the doll a bit too much.
From Sky News:

Jenn Alcayaga, a parent from Sacramento, California, is against the message the new Barbie could send to young girls. “It’s attracting kids too young to want to expose parts of their body to show off tattoos,” she said.

Puh-leeze! Children have been exposed to temporary tattoos for years in Cracker Jack boxes and grocery store vending machines. Go into any toy store in America and you’ll find temporary tattoo packs marketed to boys and girls alike.
And even if “Tattoo” Barbie did cause young girls to grow up interested in getting a tat of their own, hey, what’s the big deal? Tattoos have become so mainstream that everyone from doctors to Christian pastors are rockin’ them.
I think this new Barbie has the potential to be a great creative outlet for many young girls–just like every Barbie ever created has been. When I was a kid, I didn’t care too much for the specialty Barbies like “Enchanted Evening” Barbie or “Navy” Barbie (though I’ll admit I really did like “Barbie and the Rockers” Barbie and I know I would have absolutely loved “Tattoo” Barbie if it was around back then)–I was fine with any old Barbie because chances were, as soon as I opened the box I was going to strip off her costume and put her in a different outfit anyway.
One of my favorite childhood memories was sitting with friends on my bedroom floor, sewing Barbie new clothes with strips of fabric. And, as I grew older–still loving and playing with my Barbie dolls–my friends and I would get more creative with our fashion, sometimes using my dad’s electrical tape to make Barbie some skin-tight, leather-looking miniskirts and tube tops, fit for a dominatrix or prostitute. (Did I mention I grew up in pre-Giuliani New York City?)
Interestingly enough, while looking through some old boxes, my mother recently came across my Barbie RV along with some of my Barbie dolls and outfits and asked if she should throw them away. I told her “no way” and have promised to come and collect them all soon, hopefully to pass along to my own kids one day. I just wonder if I’ll find some electrical tape in the box….

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