Barbie was introduced to North America in March 1959. Barbie dolls have been a beloved childhood companion, for multiple generations of girls.
Barbie and Ken dolls are diverse ages, cultures, and even occupations. Sometimes new Barbie dolls are created to look like pop culture icons and sometimes they are made to resemble those who work certain professions, take doctor or office worker for example.
Mattel Inc. the creators and designers of Barbie dolls, try very hard, to maintain their nostalgic appeal, while catering to the next generation of Barbie doll consumers. Some of their attempts have been successful, and others have been straightforwardly offensive. If you’ve ever heard Aqua’s song Barbie Girl, or grew up playing with Barbies, we guarantee you’ll thoroughly appreciate our list of the 11 most offensive Barbie dolls of all time.
11 Hello Barbie
10 Black Canary Barbie
9 Teen Pregnancy Barbie
8 Growing Up Skipper
7 Teen Talk Barbie
In the early 1990s Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie, which got taken off shelves, after multiple groups protested, because they claimed the doll was an offensive female stereotype. It said 270 things, and examples include: “math is hard”, and “will we ever have enough clothes?”Not the best role models for little girls, which discourage female ambition and intelligence, it is no wonder these dolls were taken off the shelf pretty quick.
6 Mexican Barbie
5 Slumber Party Barbie
There’s nothing offensive, or controversial about Barbie attending a sleepover. The accessories that came with Mattel’s 1965 edition of the Slumber party Barbie are what make the Slumber Party Barbie doll so controversial and offensive. Slumber Party Barbie comes with a book called How To Lose Weight with the words “don’t eat” written on it, and a pink scale that’s permanently set to 110 lbs. The slumber party Barbie was one of two Barbie sets released, which came with these accessories The Babysitting Barbie came with the exact same accessories, which allowed Mattel to design a Barbie that encouraged eating disorders at sleepovers and babysitting gigs.
3 Video Girl Barbie
Video Girl Barbie has a built in video camera in her chest, which made consumers worried about what message this was sending to their kids. What if kids everywhere were given this Barbie and thought they wanted to be just like her? That would be cool if Mattel didn’t give this Barbie with built in video camera, the same name as women who wear nothing but bikinis, while dancing in music videos. Perhaps Mattel should of called her Filmmaker Barbie, or Camerawoman Barbie instead. Barbies have been called negative role models for little girls, and this is a great example of where this assumption comes from.
2 Illegal Immigrant Barbie
Although this Barbie wasn’t designed by Mattel, and is pure satire it’s a perfect candidate for the offensive Barbie dolls list, which deserves an honourable mention. Illegal immigrant Barbie is one of six Barbie parodies by writer Janet Eve Joesseyln.
1 Plus Sized Barbie
Plussizedbarbie.com posted an image of a plus sized Barbie, with good intentions, and a great question about toys aimed at young girls: “should heavier dolls be marketed to children?” The real problem: the image was an exaggerated representation of what the average plus sized woman looks like. It has a triple chin, and instead of celebrating a healthy, plus sized woman’s appearance,many felt that this Barbie reinforced stereotypical perceptions of plus-sized women.
Sources: allday.com, etonline.com, sfgate.com, mamaslatinas.com, babycenter.com
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