There is a new Barbie doll on the market creating a wave of controversy. Black Canary Barbie, based on a comic book character of the same name has created quite a stir with the Christian Voice due to her Goth/S&M-like clothing choices.
Awhile back, I met the director, writer and producer of an interesting 15 minute gem of a film called “The Tribe: An Unorthodox, Unauthorized History of the Jewish People and the Barbie Doll". An official selection at both Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival, the movie introduced the creator of the Barbie doll Ruth Handler, who was also the co-founder of Mattel, and all around lovely Jewish lady.
Having passed in 2002, Ruth is no longer with us to comment, but here are my thoughts on all this Black Canary Controversy.
1. Simply put, being a Mom of 3, I’d prefer it if Barbie didn’t look like a slut or a punker.
2. I don’t want my kids wearing fishnet hose. Furthermore, I don't want my kids playing with toys or children who wear fishnet hose.
3. Frankly, my 3 kids NEVER enjoyed playing with Barbie dolls, HOWEVER, I did and I loved them. I especially loved dressing them up and brushing their hair until they turned bald.
4. I’m OK with glittering, beautiful gowns and somewhat sexy revealing clothes (after all… it’s reality) but I don’t think we need to go to extremes. God knows, eventually there will be a Barbie with bellybutton rings, triple ear piercings and a tongue that is pierced for “you know what reason"!
5. I LOVE it that Barbie has career aspirations. Barbie is now a doctor, an astronaut, a musician, a lawyer … I think it’s important to achieve positive goal setting and good reinforcement of desirable careers and behavior. Black leather with fishnet stockings is NOT part of the uniform I want my two girls wearing when they enter the workplace.
6. Dolls can be an important part of child play. In fact, child psychiatrists have often used dolls to allow kids to play out/act out what there hidden problems are (kids can talk more easily to dolls that to adults). It would be a shame for this Barbie to give other dolls a bad rap.
7. I’m sure poor Ruth never envisioned Barbie becoming a ho (if the fishnets fit) back in 1959 when she first invented Barbie, named after her dear daughter Barbara. And I certainly doubt that Barbara dresses like Black Canary today.
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