Tattoo Barbie: This is just wrong!
But I have a big problem with Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie.
The doll manufactured by Mattel comes with temporary tattoos for both Barbie and the kids --which is fine since what kid doesn’t have a half-washed, flaking cartoon on their forearm at some point? -- but it also comes with a toy tattoo gun.
Yes, that’s right, 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.
Again, this has nothing to do with tattoos for consenting adults, but everything to do with age-appropriate toys. And in my humble opinion, the age 5 designated on the box is off by about 20 years and a hepatitis C shot.
In 1999 Mattel pulled a similar Barbie from store shelves after parents complained of her sporting a butterfly tattoo on her midriff and her friend’s nose-ring. Imagine the outcry if “Butterfly Art Barbie” came with her own home-piercing kit?
There will be some who disagree, pointing out that Barbie is just keeping up with what’s in style right now and that this is merely a toy that kids can play make-believe like other adult activities.
I counter that bellbottoms and leg-warmers didn’t need to be removed with laser treatments and Barbie’s Dream Wedding gown didn’t come with bottles of Tequila for a pretend open-bar reception.
I don’t consider myself a prude, but I prefer my preschooler’s edgy toys to be a little less with the edge, and more on the “Gee, I wonder if I can find a nicer toy for my daughter to play with.”
[Photo: Totally Stylin' Tattoo Barbie complete with toy tattoo gun]