Remember When Barbie Got Inked and Pissed Off Parents?
Barbie celebrated her 50th birthday in 2009, and to commemorate the occasion, Mattel released a Totally Stylin' Tattoos version of the iconic doll, her first fashion statement rocking ink — well, technically stickers. Unfortunately, Barbie's tattoo party drew some pitchforks...
Parents were furious that Barbie came perfectly packaged with the tattoo-like stickers and a small plastic tattoo gun, allowing children to customize and apply her birthday ink.
Barbie went on unbothered and even returned in 2010 with more ink — this time with a full tattoo sleeve courtesy of cult fashion brand Tokidoki.
In 2015, she ticked off parental units yet again when Mattel unveiled a second series of tattooed Barbies as part of the Tokidoki x Barbie limited collection, released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Tokidoki.
According to many parents, the toy company's decision to add tattoos to the beloved doll was a bad idea. However, if you asked any young girl who had access to a black Sharpie growing up, it was genius.
While some parents flipped their wigs over the Tokidoki collaboration, others tapped the tatted Barbie as the coolest doll on the market.
The two versions of the doll released in 2015 — one sporting long hot pink hair, the other purple — came complete with full sleeves and chest tattoos as well as a spike-covered pet named "Bastardino," or "Mutt" in Italian.
It seemed as though many moms and dads hadn't batted an eyelash over Barbie's unrealistic body proportions setting harmful expectations for their children. However, the restyled and inked Tokidoki Barbie dolls, which were aimed at collectors and not children, had gone too far.
At the time of release, parents flocked to news outlets and social media to share their opinions and outrage.
"I think it is disgusting," one mother told ABC. "I personally think tattoos are trashy."
"I think it sends all the wrong signals for young girls," another mom told CBS.
"Is Mattel crazy? Selling Barbie dolls with tattoos? That was almost as bad as having a pregnant Barbie or Skipper! Is someone on drugs at Mattel?" a parent wrote in the comments section of the Ms. Twixt: Positive Experiences For Tween Girls blog. "Can't really believe this at all!"
Tattoos are much more popular and mainstream today than in previous decades, and just about everyone, from A-list celebrities to political figures, has a little permanent ink. Even Barbie.