I guess Barbie is celebrating her 50th birthday in a big way: by getting tattooed. A lot. The girl with the world’s biggest wardrobe has it all: designer dresses, cars, horses, multiple homes, and her own grocery stores, sweet shops and salons. So this inspiration for Paris Hilton and others like her is rather spoiled. And what do spoiled girls do? They rebel. And what’s one of the easiest ways to rebel? Why, go get a tattoo, of course.
But while most girls celebrate their 18th birthday by getting some ink, Barbie is doing it for her 50th. Parents aren’t too happy about the new doll, named Totally Stylin’ Tattoo Barbie, which doesn’t just come with temporary tattoos, but a gun to apply them with. Now I was all about temporary tattoos as a child, and the bigger the better. I’d get the extra-large kind for 50 cents a pop from vending machines that featured colorful pictures of panthers fighting pythons and other elaborate artwork. However, I didn’t end up being interested in getting a tattoo when I was older, and many parents have no problem letting their children play with the temporary tattoos they get in cereal boxes or as prizes for reading a lot of books at school (yes, my former elementary school actually did this).
And what’s so bad about tattoos, anyway? Many “normal” people get them now, and if your child grows up to cover their entire body with tasteless tattoos (like the infamous cat-around-the-bellybutton atrocity), you probably did a lot more wrong with than buy them a Barbie doll. So “Tramp Stamp Barbie”, as she will now be dubbed, may not be such a bad girl after all, but one who just expresses herself through her ink. Although I’m sure Barbie’s tattoo choices aren’t very original; girls will probably have a choice between a pink heart, a pink butterfly, or the Barbie logo (free advertising).
And while Barbie is attempting to make tattoos even more mainstream, another character popular with girls, Dora the Explorer, is getting a makeover. The innocent puzzle-solver’s new look will be reminiscent of the infamous Bratz dolls that were recently kicked off shelves by the tough, tat-bearing Barbies, and it could lead to a line of dolls similar to the Bratz (Mattel currently produces Dora merchandise, so there’ no conflict here). As a tween, this spunky, bi-lingual cartoon star will be more into fashion, live in a big city, and go to school. In other words, she won’t stand out anymore.
But girls have survived a pregnant Barbie, one that incessantly talks about pizza, parties, and how tough math class is, and one that’s a NASCAR fan, so I doubt a doll with sticker-like tattoos and a dull, grown-up Dora will scar them for life.