Barbie is 50 years old this year (which means she’s turning 21 again in doll years), and to celebrate, she’s doing something a little different. She’s putting on MORE clothes, and a lot of people are unhappy.It’s Barbie in a burka, as it’s been dubbed by the yellow press.
Wearing the traditional Islamic dress with a mesh eyehole, she went under the hammer along with 500 other Barbie dolls dressed in unique outfits at an auction in Florence, Italy, at the renowned auction house Sotheby’s to raise funds for Save the Children.
The auction, held in late November, was part of the celebrations put on for Barbie this year as she celebrated her 50th anniversary.
The doll has started a feud between those who think it is important for every girl, regardless of her cultural background, to feel that she can have a doll that represents her, the the other camp, who feel that the doll is a “’mockery of disempowered women’ who…have been ‘stripped of human dignity.’”
Is dressing Barbie up in what many consider to be the symbol of oppression of women in the Muslim world justified by the idea that every girl deserves to have a Barbie that “looks like me?” Perhaps. But I’ve noticed no one seems to use that as a reason to, say, make a doll with a little more realistic proportions.
Maybe when she turns 100.