Have you seen the latest version of the Barbie doll? This is in no way a parody - it is 100% true and now available in stores... "Totally Stylin Tattoos Barbie"!
According to this press account, the "Totally tatted up" Barbie comes with a set of tattoo stickers, so little girls can post tramp stamps all over their dolls. And it also comes with a toy tattoo gun so the girls can tat themselves up as well!
I have nothing against tattoos, per se. (OK, I do - but I do recognize it is a personal decision, and I would never begrudge an adult's right to have one or twenty of them). But this is an ADULT decision... and the girls who play with Barbies are far from being adults.
I have friends on Facebook who have tattoos, and I just read a discussion between two of them yesterday, discussing what a big mistake they made in getting tattoos, and how much they regret it now.
I suppose tats have become such a big part of the culture, that little girls just want to follow in Mom's footsteps and dream of the day when they can have their own permanent artwork splayed across the small of their backs. But all it takes is one afternoon of sitting on the boardwalk in Ocean City and watching the girls walk by to realize what a lame cliche tattoos have become.
I get the feeling this may all backfire on the maker of Barbie, Mattel. Barbie is turning 50 this week, and Mattel has all kinds of publicity planned to unveil all kinds of new Barbie stuff. But I wonder if that's not going to all get buried by this tattoo story. I went on to the Barbie media site, and looked for more info on the tattoo Barbie doll, and there was not a single mention to be found.
Why isn't Mattel pushing it's new tattoo doll? Maybe because the toymaker realizes it's a little embarrassing, and they are covering it up - just like so many grownup men and women who are carrying around tattoos the wish they didn't have.