Totally stylin? or Totally trashy?

March 22, 2009


I STILL Blame Barbie!

As I mentioned in my earlier post about modified dolls, a previous version of tattooed Barbie was banned in 1999 after parent outrage.   Ever willing to ride the trend winds, it seems Mattel is trying again.  Barbie is once again big news, with the opening of a huge Barbie megastore in China and the release of Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie.

Once again, I’m probably the last blogger to mention this–but I need time to think and percolate the data through that spongy thing on top.  My brain, that is.  I see even BME has an article (and they got their stolen borrowed picture bigger than mine, hmm.)

The fact that the doll comes with a “tattoo gun” this time seems to bother people the most, although it’s really just a device to put the stickers on. Here’s a sampling of some of the responses:

Tattooed Barbie? Why not just call it “Tramp-Stamp Barbie” and put a bull’s eye above her ass?

With all these whiney EMO kids the next Barbie should be “I like to cut myself Barbie” and “I want to die Barbie”.

. . . a tattoo gun so instead of applying it with a wet wash cloth, 8 year-olds can simulate that milestone in every minor’s life experience of actual needles pumping permanent dye into their growing bodies.

To be honest, I can’t say that I get too upset about the “oversexualizing” of children, or age-appropriate toys; preferring to angst over failing education and  parental indifference and neglect.  I’m sure at least one of my daughters would disagree, but the best toys reflect real life.  My six grandkids (5 of them girls) all like to trace Grammy’s tattoos.  I fail to see why a doll you put stickers on will lead to a path of depravity.

So where is Totally Pierced Barbie, anyway?  I’m waiting!

And here, just for fun, is Blogger Barbie from BitchBuzz’s Photostream at Flickr. ‘Tho it really needs to be the blond version for me!


Image is from Amazon, where you can buy your very own tattooed Barbie here.  Some additional sources:  MavTV, Now Public, and Whoa Momma.

. . .

Blame it on Barbie!

December 9, 2008
A Barbie Doll forms part of...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Body Art, Dolls, and Me

Maybe my fascination with piercing started earlier than I thought.  I had one of those original Barbie dolls. You know the ones with the black-and-white striped bathing suit?  (Yeah, they came out in 1959.  I was 3).  I swear those early Barbies had pierced ears. Barbie’s a real trend-setter all right, but Tattooed Butterfly Art Barbie was banned! Discrimination, I say!


Of course many fine dolls have pierced ears, but in terms of dolls with body modifications — pretty much all of them! I mean don’t virtually all girls eventually paint them, cut their hair, amputate a few limbs, right? (Yeah, some people actually view amputation as body art–not me, though.)

Interestingly, I find a lot of instructionals out there on how to pierce a doll’s ears, (with staples, for instance), stretch them and put in plugs, and even some on how to unpierce them, but there are people who take the concept a bit further.

One of my favorite sets of decorated dollies comes from the Tattoo Baby Doll Project. It’s a collaboration among artists and tattooists to rehabilitate those old, discarded baby dolls as a vehicle to explore the images and roles that define and empower women today.  The tattoos are embroidered on! This would be a great charity idea, I think.tattoodoll_goddess_th1

Another great concept for tattooed dolls is Elizabeth Ocean’s water color paper dolls, recently featured on Needles shopping page (stay away from that page, let me tell you–it’s dangerous to your bank account!!) So exquisite . . . I had to buy two sets!


One person in Australia was making dolls called Feral Cheryl, with dreadlocks, a bindi, and navel and nose piercings.  Seems like they’ve been discontinued–too bad!  I did find one body jewelry site with a page on inflatable dolls . . . disappointingly, or fortunately, there was no actual product.

And then there are the Bratz.  I’m not really sure if there have any piercings or tattoos, but it sure looks like there might be some pierced navels under there.


Bratz were banned recently, too–not for their appearance, although many people complained about over-sexualizing little girls, but because the idea was stolen by Mattel.  I’m sure many parents out there are happy about that.

I think I better stop now (I’m getting obsessed) but not without featuring my very own Punky.  Look, I gave her chest anchors!


Got any old dolls laying around? Now you know what to do with them.

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