Tattoo Barbie Strikes Controversy.

Barbie’s come a long way from the 1950’s cute housewife she started out as.

We’ve seen her become a teacher, a doctor and a mermaid. Now she’s getting inked.

The “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos” Barbie has just come out on the market, and is already stirring controversy with parents. The barbie comes with a set of tattoo stickers that kids can place anywhere on her body, and also a “tattoo gun”, that looks like a real tattoo gun, working similarly to a water gun to place temporary tattoos on the children’s bodies.

Of course, the majoriry of the world’s prude, ignorant parents have branded the toy as “immoral”. Mattel have fought back, claiming the toygives the children using it “a chance to express themselves and be creative”. Can’t argue with that, really.

This news comes soon after complaints in the UK about a childrens’ presenter only having one arm- are people really so ignorant? Or should we excuse their over-protective nature? The way it seems, there’s no wonder people still hold prejudice towards those who are “different”.

We want to know what you think about the “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos” Barbie- you can comment below, giving your opinion. Does this doll promote individuality, or is it yet another catalyst to immoral behaviour?


Picture from

39 Responses to “Tattoo Barbie Strikes Controversy.”
  1. Amalei says:

    I’m 21 years old, I have nothing against tattoos, hell, all my sibling have them as do I, and played with Barbies myself when I was a little girl… but I find putting tattoos on a Barbie that a 10 year old girl is playing with is absolutely appalling!!! What’s wrong with selling a pretty, lady-like barbie to a little girl? Why does something a child is playing with have to be sexy and hip all of a sudden? Parents being angry by this isn’t because they’re ignorant or a prude, it’s because they don’t want their LITTLE GIRLS trying to wear low cut jeans, belly tops, and getting tattoos at age 10!!! Sorry to disappoint, but sometimes, a parent actually just cares about their child and about the image that is being thrust upon them by society.

    • Mel Roberts says:

      Thanks for your comment babes. You don’t dusapoint us at all, we appreciate feedback of all opinions, all walks of life.
      The thing is with is, it’s easy for parents not to let their children see it, so I guess there’s no problems there. With mattel, I personally don’t see any problem with children being exposed to tattoos, as long as it’s done tadtefully; for example I’d disagree with them marketing tattoos as sexy or cool. It all depends on the whole context of it, really. I think children should know that there are tattooed people, but they don’t always conform to the stereotypes society puts towards children about them. Perhaps this is an issue where either party could be right, however I do love how dolltattoos markets their dolls, and the fact it was the childrens idea, it really shows how children are able to make up their own minds about certain things.

  2. inked says:

    We care about our children – and that’s why they run See, they are already so protected from the real world that they are ignorant of it, and that makes them weak, vulnerable. Our schools teach socialism – quietly, softly, in a slow, smothering way, with little happy bears teaching second graders that they should kindly donate their hard work to those who lack the ability or will to do the work themselves. Coincidentally, they leave out the word that concisely defines what they are learning: slavery. We want them to learn about the free-market, how to live by their own means, not off the sweat of someone else’s risk. I don’t want my daughters to ever have to face unemployment, but to know how to support themselves (and others). In this particular case, they are doing something that they enjoy doing – just like dressing dolls, just like drawing on them with markers. The word that identifies their art is, “tattoo.” Whatever definition people attach to it, negative or positive, is irrelevant to them — that’s their baggage to carry.

    So, which parent cares more: the parent that teaches, or the parent that conceals? Which child will be more adept at providing for his or her own family: the educated, or the ignorant?

    We welcome the work of your children. Have them create some tattooed dolls too, or clothes for dolls, or anything they wish. We’ll gladly list them for you and show you how to accept payment for the items they make.


    • Mel Roberts says:

      Couldn’t agree more man. Unfortunately, we’ve had some comments on here a lot less mature than the one I’ve approved, so I’m kind of glad someones been able to put forward an argument for us in a polite manner, it is a story with two sides. Obviously, I agree with you more, but that’s what this sites about, changing the pre- existing ideas people have about tattoos and those who carry them. Thanks for replying mate, as you know, I’m a fan! I should really buy one of your dolls sometime! I’ve been writing proffesdionally lately, so hopefully that’ll bring some money in for one!

  3. krista says:

    I would have to say I agree and disagree- Let me explain. One part of me says I wouldnt want my child having a doll with tattoos(and comes with a tat gun). Reason being is I know what my thoughts of Barbie were when I was that young age. I thought why don’t I look like her, I want to look like her. So parents don’t want their children having those thoughts.

    On the other hand, I have a tat and love the body art. I think it does give kids a chance to express themselves. I also believe that its not a WHOLE lot different than those stuffed animals they have out that you can draw on and use airbrushing on, or how about press on tattoos they sell in stores? We all know just about every parent has gotten those for their children!

    I was raised as a preacher’s daughter, which I am sure you can guess we weren’t allowed a lot of things. We even got to play with press on tats! And my personal opinion on not letting a child experiment to a certain level will just make that child rebel as they get older. (I would know)

    OH and you know something? Everyone is all over this Barbie that has a tat, what about these bratz dolls that look like hoochie momma slut dolls that everyone buys for their daughters?

    Hopefully you all understand what I am trying to say.

    • Mel Roberts says:

      thanks Krista, you’ve really raised some points I’d never thought of and that hadn’t been discussed :)
      The barbie dolls reminded me of those stick on tattoos too- we all used to have those as kids, my friends and I, and we don’t all have tattoos. Though I see what you mean about children seeing the doll and thinking “I want to look like that too!”. The thing is, even if those kids want tattoos, they can’t have them yet, and by the time they do, the majority of them will be able to make a decision about that with the help of a good tattoo artist. I remember when I was a kid, my sister saw my aunties tattoos and wanted them, now she barely mentions it, and she still has a few years before she can be tattooed!
      What I’m trying to say is, I don’t think they’ll effect kids, really.
      Oh, and I loved your point about those bratz dolls, you’re totally right! Kids may not be able to be tattooed, but anyone knows they can pressure their parents into buying them certain clothing that’s innapropriate!
      I hope this is making sense, I’m typing this on my phone!
      Thanks for your comment though, it was very insightful, I appreciate that a lot, brought yet another valid argument to the table :)

  4. Amalei says:

    Writing on dolls with markers is a wonderful idea, in my opinion. Giving the child the ability to create anything their mind comes up with really does inspire creativity and as a very artistic person, it’s definitely something I would buy if I had a daughter. I bought the little gumball machine tattoos when I was younger as well, but I’ve slowly watched Barbie become more and more “revealing”. They even have see-through lingerie with matching high-heels for Barbie now. Why?!
    Maybe if tattoos for Barbie had come out before they took away her skin colored underwear and before I had to go to the store and see 14 year old girls wearing clothing fit for a stripper, it wouldn’t bug me (or others for that matter) as much as it does.
    As far as the content and tastefulness of the “tattoo” is concerned, I agree. Like I said, I used to buy the little tattoos that stuck to your skin with just a little water and my 4 year old niece enjoys them as well. A rose sticker tattoo on a barbie’s leg is one thing… a tattoo on her lower back (recently referred to as a tramp stamp) or one above her breast, or one on Ken’s lower abdomen is blatantly meant to be sexy.
    Yes, a parent can easily tell their child “No, you may not have that.”, but that shouldn’t even be an issue. I just feel that everything that’s been done to a little girl’s favorite toy to make her look the way she does these days is sad. I wish little girls could still feel comfortable enough to wanna play princess’ and be little ladies. It’s sad when my little sister’s 15 year old friend had her baby before my husband and I had our son. I’m not blaming Mattel for that directly, but the image they portray through Barbie as of late really isn’t helping.

  5. inked says:

    What influence a piece of plastic like Barbie wields over children and adults alike!

    Barbie, originally (that is, before she was stolen by Mattel) was a prostitute doll intended for adults. She was brought over, Americanized and, well, the rest is history.

    But, in all that time, she didn’t have a tattoo. Okay, once – one time – she got a little butterfly on her belly and people peed blood at the sight of her, so she was recalled.

    Surely, all the people who ran out and got tattoos weren’t influenced by that single doll? No. Of course not. I doubt, too, that many children got tattoos as a result.
    Barbie is an influence, but not the way you think:

    Mostly, what I hear, is that girls outgrow Barbie and loathe her and everything she stands for by the time they get to their teens. Now, think about that for a minute: Barbie is supposed to be lady-like. How many media darlings are lady-like? None that I can name (makes you wonder exactly whom is being copied – Barbie or the media whores).

    What if, by some chance, little pre-teens get tattooed Barbies, then grew up and, like their predecessors, loathed Barbie in the same way? Would they, too, grow up thinking that tattoos are just for kids and NOT get them? Who knows? It would be interesting to find out, wouldn’t it?

    Ignorance – that’s the enemy here. Ignorance encouraged your little sister’s 15-year old friend to … explore. She didn’t know better. Sure, she had heard the words, but she wasn’t *taught.* She’ll get her education now, won’t she? Do you think she’ll pass on what she learned or, will her daughter have a child at 15 (chances are the latter). Barbie, tattooed or not, didn’t cause that (Britney’s little sister, on the other hand…)

    My girls wanted to create a tramp stamp that resembled money. I think they’ve pretty much figured the world out with that.

  6. krista says:

    You all make some very good points. I am more for it than against it to be honest and me being into body art, I dont look at ANY tattoo as being sexual or sexy, unless of course its of nudity. I have a “tramp stamp” I didnt get it to be sexy I got it because thats where it looked perfect on my body. Tattoos have been around way longer than barbie has, I mean you got other countries that tattoo their people at a very young age. If you dont understand why just google it. Now days nudity is looked at as sexual, piercings and tattoos are looked at as sexual! Its all about art if you ask me. Its the small percent of people out there that give this all a bad name. When I look at pictures on websites like suicide girls, thats body art to me, not porn. Porn is porn= two or more people having sexual intercourse. I dont know I am kind of rambling on right now and maybe getting a little off subject? I dont see anything wrong with girly “tats” for barbie. I would have more of a problem if it was tats of bloody, horror, nudity…..From what I see, its tastefull. And a good point made, most girls do grow out of the barbie stage by time they are 12 or 13

  7. Mel Roberts says:

    You know, I didn’t just edit this article, I wrote it… And I’m learning more from the comments! You guys are great, thanks :)

  8. Michelle says:

    I feel that the core of this issue lies with the viewpoint some people have with tattoos and those that have them. If tattoos were viewed as an art form, would this be an issue? Instead, they’re not. Those that have tattoos can sometimes be branded as immoral or uneducated. I speak from experience in this area. I work as an R.N. in a neonatal intensive care unit. I have two tattoos, both approximately 6 inches wide, neither of which are visible while I’m at work. But I also have two degrees, one of which is from an ivy league school. In other words, I may not be that typical tattooed person…but that’s my point. No one is “typical”; stereotyping people with tattoos is like racial profiling; there are always exceptions. I find people are surprised by someone like me, because they’re used to stereotyping people by what they look like, and when one doesn’t conform, it creates cognitive dissonance. In the end, parents can choose whether or not they allow their children to have this doll in their possession, the same as they teach their children how to view people who are “different”. The manufacturer is simply making this doll available to a wider consumer market than Barbie may originally be targeted to, increasing their sales and profits and benefiting from our capitalist economy.

    • Mel Roberts says:

      Thank you Michelle, I feel you’re totally right. The issue here is more with the stereotypes cast upon those with ink. We live in a world that fights for those who have different skin colour successfully, yet we still discriminate against those who choose to change their skin. I never understood it, to be honest. But you’re right, no one is “typical”! I write in close contact with a lot of tattoo artists, and even them themselves are all different and unique to each other, I really love that diversity. I love how people get surprised at your tattoos, it’s like seeing a lawyer take off his shirt to reveal a huge backpiece or something, it’s great to see people from all walks of life with tattoos or body mods! Here on this blog, we’re aiming to change and challenge people’s views on tattoos. Even if we only change one person’s mind, we’ve done our job =]

  9. My friend Jeremy Barth has just written another blog entry about this. He credited the writer from the Guardian but after seeing your comment, I should probably tell him to link to your blog instead!

    Here is his Tattoos Supplies blog. If you want to contact him I am sure he would be happy to edit the entry and give you the credit.

    I am going to bookmark you. Are you on twitter? If so let’s share some tweets! I am @webovator


    • Mel Roberts says:

      Ah, thank you very much! I read the article from The Guardian, it was a joke. The Guardian in general is, I just read another one that completely twists the words of something Robert Smith from The Cure had written on his site. I took a look at your mate’s site, it’s pretty good like! But you should tell him he needs to credit the picture he used to !!
      Thanks for the bookmark, I really appreciate that! I’ll add you on Twitter now!!
      Thanks very much for the kind comment and support, I really appreciate it =]
      Mel x

  10. JeffG says:

    Just wondering when we will be seeing a “Meth Barbie, Hooker Barbie, Lesbian Barbie etc. If staying up with current social trends is what Mattell is doing then we should be seeing these other dolls real soon, don’t ya think???

    • Mel Roberts says:

      I’m wondering if you’re aware what a social trend is, or if you’re just trying to politely suggest people with tattoos are prone to take drugs or be hookers. Either way, you’re wrong- everything you’ve said there have been around for years, they’re hardly trends.. and people with tattoos can’t be put into the sort of category you’re suggesting, people from all walks of life are tattooed, stop being so ignorant and think about whether our readers would appreciate that comment before you post it.

  11. inked says:

    Oooh! Excellent question – now that Barbie has tattoos, when will we see meth Barbie, etc.

    Ask yourself what is happening: is life imitating art, or is art imitating life? If slapping a sticker on Barbie is bound to change the weak minds of both children and parents, then why not make Socialist or Communist Barbie? Why not make submissive homemaker Barbie? Heck, let’s go all the way and make perpetually-horny Barbie, too! After all, what JeffG is saying is that people, in particular, little girls, are so weak minded, that they’ll do whatever Barbie tells them to. If we’re going to shape a generation of young women, we might as well get some benefit, right Jeffy boy?

    I’m sure it never occurred to him that little girls are not like little boys. They outgrow their toys and tend to reject the ideals represented by Barbie (some even use microwave ovens to turn them into “transporter accidents”). After all, how many girls grow up to actually BE like Barbie? Very few. So, what would happen if Barbie had tattoos and little girls grew up to reject Barbie then, too? Would there be an outcry against Barbie because she’s putting tattoo artists out of business?

    This is truly, truly sad. Maybe we’ll start seeing closed-minded idiot blogger Ken next, sitting in his soiled undergarments with one hand down his pants, tapping away on a plastic imitation laptop. That’s one member of our species I’d like to see go away.

  12. krista says:

    Being a druggy or a hooker is not a trend. I am starting to think that some people need to do a little more research on the human minds. A child is not going to grow up being just like barbie because MOST parents of the commen sense to take the time to spend with their children and make sure they teach their child the wrongs from the rights. What is wrong with people now days? My brother who is the oldest did the most unthinkable things, I am the youngest of the 3 of us and I didnt do half the things he did. Why? Because I saw what my brother went through, I talked to my parents I had a close bond with them. I didnt do anything with my life because a toy told me to, or because another person told me how to live my life

  13. Mel Roberts says:

    More brilliant comments from the two of you, thank you very much =] It’s nice to know there are people around who aren’t as insane as those who are taking this out of hand! Anyways, I better get back to my meth, tattoo Barbie said it’s getting stale..

  14. krista says:

    HAHA Mel you really CRACKed me up on that one. I know a lot of the stuff I say may not make since because I just ramble on without reading what I am typing. If kids learn anything back when and now days its mostly from the people they are around and from tv. When I was a young girl I made ken and barbie have sex because thats what I saw on tv LOL not because barbie looked like a whore and ken a pimp. But I also would rip kens head off and put make up on him. .. By the way I saw the tat barbie in walmart the other day, I have to say she looks like a norm barbie and the sticker tats are very much girly. I asked my boyfriend if he would buy something like that for his 5 yr old daughter. He said yes but only if I was going to be able to around her. So that she can do something contructive in learning and understanding. Not just throw it at her and say here go play.

  15. krista says:

    Ok I just read what I typed and noticed really bad typos but oh well. What I ment about my bf’s 5yr old daughter is that he would only buy it for her if he was able to be with her and make it something about learning. Not just get it, throw it at her and say go play……Maybe thats the problem with most parents now days and that is why they have such a problem with certian stuff that come out for children? Because they want the tv, games, toys to teach their kids instead of taking the time to do their job as a parent?

  16. Mel Roberts says:

    That’s a good point, actually, Krista, there are so many complaints about things like that, and it does seem like the parents are just using things as a babysitter. I remember when I was little, there was all this shit with The Lion King- loads of parents complained about the fact their kids were getting upset at the dad’s [Mufasa?] death.. maybe if they were sitting with the child they would be able to have educated them about it, and shown them it’s only a film.. or even just sitting watching the film before showing it to the child, both of which are things suggested to parents of PG films. Of course, there are also those who let their children do anything they like, and then when it backfires, use something to scapegoat their behaviour too.
    I think you’re right about it being more the parent’s inability to make this an educational toy- having a toy like this could be really educational to a child who may need to learn about diversity, for example. If I had a kid (God forbid!), I’d want them to learn through something like this =]

  17. krista says:

    I think the most of us know that now days parents would rather pass their children off to something or someone else instead of taking the time they need to spend time with them. My parents always made family time for us when we were growing up. I was never scared to ask my parents anything. Now days you have kids that would rather go to someone else other than their parents because they were never really there for them. I guess thats why parents are so easy to pass their kids off as ADD ADHD now days. After all in most of the US states they get a SS check for their child being determind having some type of “metal” disorder. For example, my sister works with her two kids all the time. Her now 5yr old could count to 20 and say her ABC’s and speak so good by time she was 3. My brothers kids on the other hand, are a little more behind as he is seperated from his wife and all she can do is scream and yell at them. And letting them do as they please instead of spending quality time with them.

  18. Mel Roberts says:

    I agree, I think that’s mainly the problem here, it lies with the parents. This could be a great educational toy, which teaches kids that there are different people in the world, and no one is better than anyone else, but a lot of parents wouldn’t sit down with the child and do that, so they’re scared of what could become of it, instead of being there to teach the child.. I mean, this this is the kind of toy where you’d only have to sit down once and use it as an educational toy before, at a later date, saying something like “play with your Barbie while I do the ironing”, y’know? I think if a parent is worried about what a toy will do to their child, they’re not taking enough time to spend with their child, to be honest.

  19. My niece just got into her Barbie phase. It was Elmo, then Dora, now Barbie. They haven’t changed much since I was young.

  20. This post is beyond awesome. I am always wondering what to do and what not to do so I will follow some of these tips.

  21. dvd copy says:

    It’s your discovery, good job!

  22. DVD Copy Mac says:

    I am looking forward to seeing more reports from it before. What you said was news to me, I′ll tell you.Thanks!

  23. sex filmiki says:

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing?

  24. My niece just got into her Barbie phase. It was Elmo, then Dora, now Barbie. They haven’t changed much since I was young.

  25. The tattoo is really cute on th girl.

  26. inked says:

    Well… here it is, 2011.

    Despite dire predictions, the world hasn’t come to an absolute end because Babs got some ink.

    There were times over the last couple of years, however, that I swore my world had ended.

    Things have certainly changed over at, in the background, that is. Ironically, events were put into motion at precisely the same time as all of this started that would result in some deeply sad times for my daughters and me. With everything that’s been going on in our lives, we just haven’t had much time to make new dolls. But, things have (finally!) settled down enough for us to get back to work.

    It’s just the three of us now.

    The sun still rises. The Earth still orbits the Sun. Pristine Barbie dolls keep rolling off the assembly line, begging to have their reputations besmirched by DOLLtattos ink. The outcry of many a frightened/offended/angry parent has yet to be coaxed from the deepest part of their souls.

    So be it. Cry, “Havoc!” and let slip the dolls of war!

    Ah, one more thing: Mel – love the hair!


    • Mel Noir says:

      Mate! I was just thinking of you the other day, what a coincidence!

      You’re right, you haven’t brought on the apocalypse or changed little girls into anything other than what they want to be, though I’m sure some strange people wanted that, haha!

      I’m really sorry to hear about the hard times you and your little girls have had this year, my heart goes out to you guys, man. I’m happy to hear you’re all keeping positive and “destroying” Barbie dolls though, haha ;) In fact, by Monday you can expect something on the site showing off your latest Barbies!

      You and the girls rock, and I’m genuinely glad people like yourself are out there!

      Oh, and thank you very much about my hair :)

      Mel x

  27. dvdripperreview says:

    Nice tattoo, i like! looks sexy~
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