Quantcast
Connect with us

Parents criticize ‘Barbie’ doll’s appearance in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue

Published

on

Barbie has been many things in her life: A doctor. A paleontologist. An astronaut. A cheerleader. A race car driver. A candidate for the presidency of the United States.

Now, on the threshold of her 55th birthday, the world’s most famous doll is stirring up a social media frenzy with her debut in Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary swimsuit edition.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a tie-in with toymaker Mattel, the top-selling US sports weekly has cast the leggy — if anatomically impossible — all-American doll on a mock cover, sporting a black and white one-piece reminiscent of the one she wore when introduced in 1959.

“The Doll that Started it All,” reads the headline on the cover, being wrapped around some issues of the magazine. The hashtag #unapologetic features in the joint marketing campaign, which will also include ads in the magazine.

“From its earliest days, Swimsuit has delivered a message of empowerment, strength and beauty,” said M.J. Day, the Sports Illustrated senior editor responsible for the iconic and highly lucrative special edition.

“And we are delighted that Barbie is celebrating those core values in such a unique manner,” she said in a statement.

ADVERTISEMENT

The swimsuit issue comes out Tuesday with bikini-clad Chrissy Teigen, Nina Agdal and Lily Aldridge on the cover, posing on a sun-kissed tropical beach, smiling back at the camera, toned buttocks well exposed.

But it’s Barbie — or more precisely the notion of giving her top billing in a magazine that pitches sun, sea and sex to impressionable American males in the dead of winter — that has fired up the blogosphere.

“This is what is known as obvious trolling,” wrote Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com.

ADVERTISEMENT

“You plan on getting mad again this year about hot, barely clothed women in a sports magazine again this year, world? Here. Here’s a plastic one … a freaking mass-produced doll.”

“Just as the swimsuit issue isn’t for the kids, Barbie isn’t for the grown-ups either,” added Eve Vawter, editor of Mommyish.com.

“Barbie is no longer just a doll. She is a sex doll. Think about that the next time your daughter wants one in the toy aisle.”

ADVERTISEMENT

– Barbie losing her mojo? –

Alas, on the eve of the New York Toy Show, and hard on the heels of New York fashion week, Barbie is grappling with the middle-aged fear that she’s no longer hot stuff.

Publicly listed Mattel revealed in January that worldwide gross sales of its Barbie products fell six percent last year, and three percent in 2012, putting a drag on the profitability of the world’s biggest toy manufacturer.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We just didn’t sell enough Barbie dolls,” said Mattel chief executive Bryan Stockton in a conference call with financial analysts, although its other doll lines such as Monster High are faring better.

(Sports Illustrated launched the swimsuit edition in 1964 to prop up circulation between the American football and baseball seasons. Now a stand-alone product, it is the best-selling of all Time Inc. titles.)

Barbie — whose brand is valued at $3 million, a tad more than Oprah Winfrey’s estimated worth — is no stranger to controversy.

She’s regularly been faulted in the past for setting an unrealistic example for young girls with her impossibly lithe figure, fabulous wardrobe and storybook romance with dashing boyfriend Ken.

ADVERTISEMENT

If 11.5-inch (29-centimeter) Barbie was a full-grown American woman, she’d have a 32-inch bust, a 16-inch waist and 29-inch hips, as well as a child’s size three foot, according to Rehabs.com, a website that addresses eating disorders.

Lindsey Feitz, who lectures on gender and women’s studies at the University of Denver in Colorado, considered it “ethically dubious” to use a girl’s doll to sexualize girlhood in a magazine seen mainly by men.

“We’ve evolved from the ink drawings of pin-ups in the 1940s to chronic Photoshopping and digital body alterations of today’s cover models,” Feitz told AFP by email.

“And now the model has disappeared and been replaced with a plastic representation of a sexy girl/woman. It’s ironic.”

ADVERTISEMENT

[Image via official ‘Barbie’ Facebook page]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Psychedelic Nazi’ arrested on AK-47 charges attended ‘Unite the Right’ in Charlottesville: report

Published

on

Federal authorities in Virginia arrested a far-right political activist who had attended the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville during which Heather Heyer was murdered in 2017.

Andrew "Thomasberg was arrested at his home in McLean on Thursday, according to court filings, accused of possessing guns as a drug user and illegally buying an AK-47 in 2017 for that friend, who is cooperating with authorities," The Washington Post reported Friday.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Watch Ex-CIA official break down the ‘three crimes’ Trump committed if Ukraine scandal is true

Published

on

President Donald Trump could be charged with committing three federal crimes if the whistleblower reports involving the White House seeking campaign interference from Ukraine are correct.

MSNBC "Deadline: White House" anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Jeremy Bash on Friday -- and worried about the safety of the whistleblower.

"The stakes could not be any higher, the risk to his career -- or her career -- and reputation and perhaps legal standing could not be any higher for this whistleblower. That's why we’re glad to be joined by national security analyst, former chief of staff of the CIA and Department of Defense, someone I wanted to talk to about this story all week, Jeremy Bash," Wallace said.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image