Barbie's tatted up!

She actually looks quite chic, with her little pink bob and leopard pants. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that heart and crossbones, though. But the real kicker — the tattoos on her neck and shoulders — offends me far less than I thought it would when I first heard the headline. Anyway, it appears Mattel has made a Barbie that parents understandably object to:

The Internet is abuzz with the news that a recently released Barbie designed by the L.A.-based Tokidoki brand comes complete with a pale pink bob, stacked bracelets, an annoyed-looking pet named Bastardino (seriously) and, oh yeah, a ton of tattoos on her neck and shoulders.

Media outlets such as U.S. News & World Report and The Telegraph have suggested (with meager evidence) parents are outraged that Barbie has been tattooed. And on television, concerns about the doll’s new ink and its impact on children have been raised on the “Today” show, “Good Morning America” and CNN.

But here in L.A., the folks at the Tokidoki offices are shaking their heads in wonderment at the media frenzy and fielding phone calls in amusement.

It’s a lot of fuss over a $50 doll that has been marked “For adult collectors only,” they say.

This afternoon, I talked about this fun Friday story on The Willis Report on Fox Business News and, as I said on the show, I find the tattoos a little tasteless, but, if parents don’t want their children to have such a non-role-model in their toy drawer, they needn’t buy it. As the makers of the doll point out, it’s a collectors’ item anyway: Just 7,400 were made. But the designers and producers had every right to make the doll — and consumers have every right to buy it. Such is the nature of capitalism: We vote with our dollars. Can’t blame a business trying to make a buck, provided it’s an honest one. It’d be different if the doll promoted illegal activity or exceptional immorality or some such thing, but, as that’s not the case, adult collectors, be my guest. Gotta pick our battles wisely, after all.

Incidentally, another guest panelist on The Willis Report pointed out that Barbie continues to contribute to young girls’ poor self body image by painting an impossible picture of beauty. I’ve never really worried too much about the enhanced images that surround young women all the time because I just assume young girls also hear them combated with cries of, “That’s not realistic!”, but I read an article yesterday suggesting “the media hates women.” A new documentary called Miss Representation delves deeply into the question of how media images affect young women. Should this be an issue of concern?