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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

There once was a girl who had everything. Her name was Barbie.

Now, Barbie has tattoos and pink hair, too.

The tokidoki Barbie, released as a collector's item Oct. 13, comes in a pink miniskirt, patterned tights and a black shirt with a heart and skull bones.

Between the top and a cotton-candy-pink bob, the doll has flowers and birds tattooed onto her chest and arm.

Then there's her pet, Bastardino, a dog in a cactus costume. Tokidoki is a Milan-based fashion house that stems inspiration from Japanese anime and art.

Designed by Italian artist Simone Legno, this new doll is described by Mattel as "funky fashionista," but her neck tattoos are confusing those who grew up with Flight Attendant Barbie and Pet Doctor Barbie. Though Mattel claims the tattooed Barbie is marketed more toward adults, parents and Barbie lovers are still up in arms.

"I always liked Barbie when I was younger because she did it all and looked good doing it," said Meredith Cotton, 20, food and resource economics junior. "She had her perfect home, excelled at every job and then drove around in a cool car."

Cotton, who grew up playing with her mother's dolls, said the appeal of Barbie was that she was the iconic Jackie Kennedy type of girl.

"That's how the era was immortalized to me," she said. "I'm sure no one our age wants to be immortalized by crazy hair and tattoos."

Journalism sophomore Sarah Loftus, 19, still has her Barbie as Cinderella Collector Edition sitting in her closet from her fourth birthday.

"This Barbie is sending a message to young girls that that's how they're supposed to look," she said. "Little girls will feel like they won't be complete until they have pink hair and tattoos."

In the November issue of O, Oprah's magazine, an article titled "Better than Beautiful?" featured model Katie Halchishick naked with a plastic surgeon's suggestions inked onto her body. In her hand is a naked Barbie.

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"There are a lot of movements now that are encouraging people to embrace a healthy ideal," said Shannon Delaney, the health promotion specialist at GatorWell. "Trying to achieve an ideal that can't be achieved is only going to make you unhappy."

According to the 2010 Healthy Gators Student Survey, one-fifth of students reported that feeling fat frequently interferes with their everyday life.

"We talk about it as a social mirror," Delaney said. "The vision we have of ourselves is shaped by the opinion, perspective and paradigm of people around us."

Barbie, she said, gives girls an unrealistic expectation.

"Lots of criticism of Barbie is that is portrays an image that is unachievable," she said. "It isn't something you would want a young girl to aspire to."

The doll, which is currently sold out and on back order, can be purchased for $50 on

"We look at three main sources of body image issues," Delaney said. "The messages we tell ourselves, the things we hear from people around us and larger societal issues. Most negative comments are to ourselves in the mirror."

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