November 22, 2009

Missing the point

Italian designer Eliana Lorena has put on a special exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll. It features Barbies dressed in costumes from all over the world, including the Japanese kimono, Indian saris and various African outfits. The dolls will be sold in a charity auction after the exhibition. So, which get-up do you think the press is all in a tizzy about? Let the Daily Mail explain:

One of the world's most famous children's toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover - wearing a burkha.

Wearing the traditional Islamic dress, the iconic doll is going undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby's for Save The Children.

The Mail is sensible compared to some fora, though. Indeed, Phyllis Chesler at Pajamas Media appears to have not read the press release and news articles and seems convinced that the artwork is some kind of commercial product. One of which she does not approve. And strangely, Chesler is a feminist, not some kind of fundie bampot, though the language is similar:

Save the Children? Surely, you must be jesting. I would like to save the children from this as well as from every other Barbie doll. (Yes, I know Barbie has diversified and now comes in every color and profession). But naked, even Doctor Barbie is still a pagan goddess or fertility figure but one with absolutely no relationship to female biology or reality....

These dolls were so retro--or so I always thought. Well, shut my mouth, those were the good old days of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll. Now, Barbie is swathed, shrouded, in a burqa; now, she is even more hopelessly retro.

Strange, I've always thought of pagan fertility symbols looking more like:
Venus of Willendorf than Barbie. There then follows a call to boycott the "product", and a quote from the National Organisation of Women, who have also failed to notice that the doll is an artwork, from which Mattel will not profit, and not a product:

Mattel should be ashamed. Making a profit by selling a doll that is clearly wearing a symbol of violence is not acceptable and there should be a public outcry to take this doll off the market.

It's Barbie in a burkha: World-famous doll gets a makeover to go under the hammer for 50th anniversaryDaily Mail, 21st November 2009; Boycott Burqa BarbieChesler Chronicles, 21st November 2009.

Leave a comment

Evangelism, witnessing and similar activitites go by one name here—advertising, and is no different from spam for viagra, penis enlargement products and pornography. We do not take advertising. If you want to advertise your imaginary friend, please spend your own money on your own web space to do so. Any attempts to use the comments section for advertisements will be deleted, and the perpetrator barred, unless they are particularly stupid, in which case I reserve the right to pinch an idea from Teresa Nielsen Hayden and delete all the vowels.

Allowed HTML: a href, b, br, p, strong, em, ol, ul, li, blockquote, q, pre. If your name has accents in it, things will (hopefully!) work better if you use the XHTML entities for those letters. The same applies if you are using a word processor to compose your comment, then copying and pasting the text—either turn off curly quotes and avoid using em-dashes, or edit your comment after pasting to get rid of them. Garbled comments usually get deleted.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Feòrag published on November 22, 2009 8:15 PM.

Annual Happy Birthday post was the previous entry in this blog.

British efficiency. is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


About this site
Contact the Prattle
Ego Corner

The Pagan Prattle
c/o P.O. Box 666
Edinburgh EH7 5YW



Creative Commons License
The original material in this weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.