03 September 2009

Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie

I was watching a rerun of Rachael Ray's talk show, and she mentioned Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie. This is the Barbie that comes with temporary tattoos that a child can put on the doll or on herself. It caused a bit of an uproar when it was first released because parents thought it set a bad example. I'm not sure if I agree with that.

First of all, I remember that we all had temporary tattoos as kids. They came as prizes in packs of bubble gum and boxes of Cracker Jacks. My sister K obviously doesn't remember because she freaked when I put temporary tattoos in my kids' Christmas stocking. I even let C1 get a professionally-drawn temp tattoo at the mall this summer. I figure it satisfies the urge to decorate their skin without them doing anything permanent. Before I started buying them tattoos, they were drawing on their skin with markers.

The idea that this Tattoo Barbie encourages kids to bare their skin to show off the tattoos doesn't fly with me, either. Because of the way we've raised our girls, they are conscious of whether their clothing is appropriate and most of the time they correct each other without ABM and I having to jump in. I don't have to worry about tattooed bosoms and bellies; my girls prefer their legs and forearms.

Finally, even if you don't want to buy this Barbie for your little princess, why can't it be available for other parents? Parents are always saying that they like dolls to represent a girl's reality. What if the girl has a mother with tattoos? I believe she should be able to play with a doll that represents what she knows of womanhood, just like my girls were able to play with black dolls.
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