October 28 11

Sometimes I wonder if people out there are looking for a fight. Sometimes I just want to look people in the face, throw my hands up in the air and shout “Who in the hell cares?!” from the rooftops for all the see and hear. You like Barbie? Fantastic. You don’t like Barbie? Also, fantastic. Here’s something new and novel…you don’t have to buy Barbie. That’s the thing about shopping—it’s a little lesson I learned one day when my husband threatened to take away my credit cards. No one is forcing you at gunpoint. No one. You have the ability to buy the things you want to buy and the ability to not buy the things you don’t want to buy. Diff’rent Strokes, you guys. It’s not just a great TV show with a catchy theme song. It’s the truth. That’s why there are hundreds and hundreds of options out there.

My mom once bought my sweet little girl a Barbie that had pasties covering her nipples.

True story.

Here’s the thing. We stared in wonder at Barbie and wondered who she was and who she had become. Janet Jackson at the Superbowl, perhaps? Silver sparkly pasties. I’m fairly certain she was wearing fishnets and had several piercings too. At first I was slightly outraged. Really? REALLY? Why is a product like this even on the market? Are my daughters going to want piercings and pasties and fishnets too? Am I damaging them at such a young age? Am I sending the wrong message with this toy? I’M YELLING ABOUT BARBIE!

But then, well, I just laughed. Whore Barbie. *Snicker*

Have you ever played with Barbies? Have you ever watched children play with Barbies? In our house, Barbie mostly spends a lot of time in her closet getting dressed and undressed for special occasions—the beach, weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, vacations, dates, school, birthday parties. And when she’s not getting dressed and undressed and dressed and undressed, she’s having her hair braided (and sometimes cut! Gasp!) or she is zipping around in her fancy pink car. Sometimes Barbie likes to smooch Ken a little bit. Sometimes she doesn’t. Sometimes she is an airline pilot, a school teacher, a cowgirl. I have seen many imaginations at play in our house and—surprise!—no Barbie scenarios have involved Barbie stripping her clothing off to reveal her pasties. Because that’s not what Barbies are to my girls.

A lot of people are up in arms about this new Barbie. The Tokidoki Barbie. Have you seen her?

She comes with a Tokidoki purse (that I *might* secretly want to own. I mean, ahem.), a pink mini skirt, a pair of animal-print leggings, stilettos, pink hair, and, well, a giant chest tattoo (and a back tattoo too!)

Okay, so here’s the thing. I get it. I get why moms don’t like this.


It’s simple, really. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. No one is going to force your hand on this one. (Also? I doubt anyone else is going to buy this Barbie for your children; she costs over $50 and won’t be carried in toy stores…she is supposed to be a collector’s doll.) If you don’t like its messaging, don’t buy into the messaging. Why does it have to be this giant fight. Why must we YELL ABOUT BARBIE? Why must we take to Twitter and Facebook and our blogs and call for BANS ON MATTEL PRODUCTS and demands for RTS about Why Barbie is Bad.

Don’t buy it, that’s okay.

Do buy it, that’s okay too.


And if you do buy it and your kid comes to you and says she wants pink hair? You have the option to say NO.

And if you do buy it and your kid comes to you and says she wants to wear leather mini skirts? You have the option to say NO.

And if you do buy it and your kid comes to you and says she wants to wear stilettos? You have the option to say NO.

And if you do buy it and your kid comes to you and says she wants to get a giant chest and back tattoo? You have the option to say NO.

That’s the thing here. Okay. Yes. Barbie has a tattoo.

At least she covered her ass and is not wearing leggings as pants.


  1. It is funny how upset people get about this kind of stuff… it’s pretty easy *not* to give your kid something. It’s even easy to let someone else know not to give your kid something.

    I’d definitely be more upset about “Leggings-as-pants” Barbie, m’self. (I wonder if they’d be accurate with the camel toe? Now *there* would be something to get upset about.)

    With Bratz, that are specifically marketed to children and not to adults as collectors dolls as some Barbies are, I understood the uproar; every single one of those pouty faced dolls looks like a hooker. And you *still* don’t need to buy one for your kid.

    (Silver pasties? That’s kind of awesome, in an “I’m really glad my kid didn’t get one” kind of way.)


    Comment by Jessica on October 28, 2011
  2. Love love love this post. I wish more people would comprehend the whole if you don’t like it, don’t buy it or watch it or read it thing. Instead, it seems there are a whole lot of folks who just love to spend their time complaining. If they have that kind of free time, why don’t they come and paint my house?


    ali replied on

    I wish I could give a thumbs-up to this comment.


    Comment by Beth on October 28, 2011
  3. I have a tattoo. I guess we should start a whole twitter rage hashtag #WhySharonIsBad


    ali replied on



    Comment by Sharon on October 28, 2011
  4. Early on in my tenure as mother, I was so concerned about the impact that Barbie might have on my daughters’ lives (forgetting of course, how much I enjoyed her in my own childhood and how relatively undamaged I am now because of it), that I denied her existence and importance so vehemently that I actually elevated it to the point of mythologizing the plastic lady.

    Then I gave my head a shake, got over my fear and let people buy my kids Barbie for their birthday. And lo and behold, the earth did not shatter.


    Comment by karengreeners on October 28, 2011
  5. I would buy this Barbie over a Bratz doll, she has clothes on!!! I don’t love that Barbie’s porportions are so extreme and unrealistic, but I grew up playing with Barbie, and while the only Barbie that I have purchased for my daughter is the one from Toy Story (I LOVE her, she reminds me of the exercise Barbie I had when I was a kid)somehow, my 3.5yo has a pretty big collection of them already. People buy them for her and she enjoys playing with them. I think that’s ok. Worse things can happen.


    Comment by Sandy on October 28, 2011
  6. I had a Barbie too as a kid and grew up relatively unscathed. And there was a lot of dressing and undressing Barbie as she went on various engagements around town. Have you seen this article that was circulating a little while ago? A real-life model took her measurements and drew on herself to demonstrate what her proportions would have to be if she were Barbie. It was pretty scary, because her neck would have to be so skinny it looked freakish. She looked like a human/giraffe hybrid. So the measurements are totally insanely way off, but I agree with Sandy above, I would buy Ella 10 Barbies over one Bratz doll. Hookers.


    Comment by Jen on October 28, 2011
  7. You are so in my head here. There is way too much time spent on this and also, inherent judgement of people who choose a different style and end up with pink hair and tattoos. I have no idea what little girls would want this Barbie but if you don’t want her just don’t buy her.


    Comment by Brittany on October 28, 2011
  8. This is a great post, especially since I spent part of my weekend last weekend playing Barbies with my six-year old niece.

    She has Barbies with tattoos and Barbies with slutty clothes. But like you said, she doesn’t notice. She doesn’t want clothes like that, or a tattoo. She likes to dress her up in a million outfits! And then it is Barbie daughter asking Barbie mom if she can go out and play. Completely harmless.

    Or, it is Barbies reenacting Princess Diaries, which is the movie of the moment.


    Comment by Kristabella on October 28, 2011
  9. I contemplate having a third child in case I have a girl do I can have an excuse to play with Barbie again. For now, I’ll happily buy them fit my sister’s daughter.

    P.S. I am loving Barbie’s haircut.


    Comment by Loukia on October 28, 2011
  10. people who complain about barbie have never played with or know nothing about them. have you seen the movies? who saves them in the end? no one, they save themselves…no prince, no magic…they use BRAINS and help from their GIRLfriends WORKING TOGETHER unlike snow white who can’t manage to eat an apple without collapsing.

    i disagree about the proportions of the doll (DOLL) being all messed up. i’m sorry but have you seen strawberry shortcake’s head? what about cabbage patch dolls? have you seen the MapleLea (sp?) dolls with the SATAN EYES?

    my barbies had tattoos, too, but I put them there! i’m 41 years old and ink free with my natural hair colour. i don’t think i’m all messed up (although i drink g&t’s on sunday afternoons quite often)


    Comment by julie on October 28, 2011
  11. “At least she covered her ass and is not wearing leggings as pants.”

    TOTALLY what I was thinking!


    Comment by Karen Sugarpants on October 28, 2011
  12. Amen, Ali. Amen.

    The other topic I feel like looking at people and shouting WHO THE HELL CARES? Klout. Because, seriously.


    ali replied on

    oh yes…KLOUT! I do not understand it…and I don’t care about it. I couldn’t even tell you if my score dropped or went up…because I didn’t know what it was before. Hee!

    But i still have a good time giving everyone +Ks…it’s like a fun game!


    Angella replied on

    Seeing the funny +K’s IS hilarious. When everyone was whining that their score had dropped all I could think was WHO CARES? :)


    ali replied on

    Granted, I’d never TWEET the +ks…because I cannot STAND seeing those in my twitter feeds…but I still like to give them!

    Comment by Angella on October 28, 2011
  13. I think it’s funny that as vigilant as Mattel is over Barbie’s reputation, they’re going for shock value now. It’s probably good for girls to see a Barbie that might look more like their mom does.


    Comment by Avitable on October 28, 2011
  14. LOL oh my gosh, her cactus-dog-thing is named Bastardino.


    Comment by Katie on October 28, 2011
  15. Pick a random word, put it with another random word, and BAM! You can make someone majorly butthurt about it for no reason.


    alimartell replied on

    a million times yes.


    Comment by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on October 28, 2011
  16. I love you more right now than I have EVER loved you before.

    Also, her pink hair is FIERCE. I wish I could pull that off.


    Comment by Meghan on October 28, 2011
  17. YES! So much, yes. I could add to this and tell you where I agree, but I agree with ALL OF IT.


    Comment by Mrs. Wilson on October 30, 2011
  18. Oh, and p.s. I LIKE HER BACK TATTOO AND WANT ONE JUST LIKE IT. (Kind of.) (They can do sparkly tattoos, right?)


    Comment by Mrs. Wilson on October 30, 2011
  19. Dude. She’s wearing clothes. What’s not to like?

    I’m with you. Don’t buy it if your don’t like it. The end. I never boycotted Bratz or anything like that. I bought them, it never made my kids dress like that…it’s all good.

    Toys are just effing toys.


    Comment by Issa on November 1, 2011

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