Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Lingerie Barbie

The Lingerie Barbie is stirring up a fuss. On the local news last night a furious dad stated he refused to buy the product for his Barbie-loving daughter (it looked like she had just about everything Barbie, including a house) and he was shocked to see it in the FAO Schwarz catalog. I found it odd that there wasn't much focus on the fact that the toy was recommended for 14 year olds and older (his daughter must have been about 7 or so).

I've long been a big UN-fan of Barbie in general, but this new model doesn't bother me so much-- she's kind of just a blatant example of what, to me, Barbie is about anyway. The angry dad on the news was upset about the sexual suggestiveness of the toy, but apparently has no problem letting his daughter play with lots of blonde, unrealistically shaped dolls that promote sexism in a more insidious way. Is this your idea of femininity? I don't want to come down too hard on Barbie dolls. I had one (and only one, and she got pretty beat up) and other dolls as a little girl. But I also had Legos, an electrical circuit experimentation kit, a microscope, etc., etc., and so on. With the Barbie franchise putting out products in the past like a credit card Barbie and a talking Barbie that said, "Math is hard!" it's hard to see how Barbies are supposed to be taken seriously or especially edifying for kids anyway.

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