Friday, December 12, 2008

Risque Barbie upsets parents  

5 comments
Black Canary Barbie, so tastefully dressed in an outfit that looks as if she's headed to a biker bar or an S&M party, is causing quite the stir. Parents are furious that their children are being exposed to the fishnet-covered pouty-lipped dominatrix-esque doll, but in actuality, Black Canary Barbie is supposed to be based off of a DC Comics heroine.


Not that this fact makes the doll any more excusable, since the original Black Canary was still a highly sexualized female figure. It just amazes me that parents are now in an uproar, when for decades, the original white, tall, skinny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie doll has been promoting impossible beauty standards that have been harming the self-esteem of children everywhere. In a 2007 report, the American Psychology Association argued, "the proliferation of sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandising, and media is harmful to girls' self-image and healthy development." But toy-makers hardly take that to heart.

In the end, I see the original Barbie as far more of a cause for an uproar. Are young women more likely to become S&M sex workers or develop eating disorders in hopes of shaping their bodies to emulate their role models?

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5 comments: to “ Risque Barbie upsets parents


  • December 14, 2008 at 3:04 AM  

    Considering they had a Barbie soccer coach that comes with a bunch of little girls wearing miniskirt uniforms (yes, miniskirts...to play SOCCER) I don't think this is a far leap from the Barbie prototype. Disturbing, yes. But I guess far be it from parents to notice subtly disturbing trends. Meanwhile people think that feminists focus on "every little thing"...


  • December 20, 2008 at 3:01 PM  

    The role model of the original Barbie has progressively deteriorated to an alarming level with Bratz and Black Canary Barbie.
    CCFC (www.commercialfreechildhood.org) is an organization dedicated to watchdogging this industry. On Being a REAL Princess, Secrets of the Happy Heart Princess, is a book I wrote in response to my grandaughters worship of Barbie, Disney princesses and other hollywood types.


  • February 18, 2009 at 12:23 AM  

    But look at who gets put under fire- Mattel and even the Barbie doll itself for looking that way. Nobody bats an eye at the men who create, draw, and depict comic book women in this way. And they've been producing horrible images of heroines for as long as Barbie's been around, if not longer. At least Mattel is trying to produce a superhero comic based doll for the girl population- it's hardly their fault that they only have scantily clad women to choose from in the industry. Maybe Mattel should design it's own superhero.


  • July 27, 2011 at 11:32 AM  

    I love the pooper scooper barbie...next we can have the baby diaper changing barbie. :)
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  • July 16, 2012 at 2:51 AM  

    Considering they had a Barbie soccer coach that comes with a bunch of little girls wearing miniskirt uniforms (yes, miniskirts...to play SOCCER) I don't think this is a far leap from the Barbie prototype. Disturbing, yes. But I guess far be it from parents to notice subtly disturbing trends. Meanwhile people think that feminists focus on "every little thing"...
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