Barbie has met with the times! She’s been a doctor, an astronaut, a business woman, and of course a princess, and now she might just become a tattoo artist as well! Presenting Tattooed Hipster Barbie!

So what are people saying about Barbie’s latest alter-ego? Well, some moms are crying outrage over this “less-than-ideal” role model. My first problem with that is that they’re referring to Barbie as a role model. Barbie is a doll. Yes, she’s an icon, but her purpose is as an avenue for our kids to explore make-believe and fantasy play. She’s only a role model in the absence of a tangible, attainable human female role model.

 

My second problem is that those moms are missing the bigger picture and overlooking a wonderful opportunity to talk to their kids, especially their daughters.

The real question is whether Tattooed Barbie is a bad influence. And I suppose how you answer that is how involved you are in discussions with your kids about their toys, music, TV shows and what they see in the media.

Me? I think she’s fantastic!

Hair dye, piercings and yes, tattoos, are all ways for people, especially our youth, to explore their rebellious side and express their individuality. Personally, I’d prefer that at 15 years old Meebs has a pink Mohawk and nose ring than gets pregnant or hooked on meth in her quest for independence.

In my opinion a tattoo is just one, relatively harmless, way for people to express themselves. And some tattoos are really beautiful pieces of art! 

Plus, let’s not overlook the opportunity that Tattooed Barbie creates for engaging in open, honest discussions with our kids about diversity and accepting others, and what it means to respect our bodies and express individuality. While your kids still care what you think you can answer their questions about tattoos, and talk about the permanency of body art and what the tattoo might look like when they’re 80. You can do research together if you don’t know much on the subject—another great opportunity for discussion and bonding.

I even heard one mom say, “I don’t believe in tattoos, and I don’t want my kid to have a tattoo.” Boy, is that mom in for a surprise. Tattoos aren’t the Tooth Fairy and they do exist whether you “believe” in them or not. So many people have tattoos today (myself included); they’re really becoming mainstream. So, either you can talk about it at home or your little one can learn about it and form an opinion when you’re not looking—from friends, on TV, etc. And, when all’s said and done, if your child really wants a tattoo (when they’re 18) there’s nothing you can legally or ethically say or do that’ll make them change their mind.

So what to do if your 6 year old declares she wants as many tattoos as her new Barbie? Well, if you’re really adventurous, why not make a pact with her that when she turns 18, if she still wants a tattoo, you’ll go together and get matching tattoos…that oughta deter her. It’s a rare girl who wants the same tattoo as her mother!

Still unconvinced about the pros of Tattooed Barbie? Maybe what you need to ask yourself is why you don’t want your child to play with this toy. What is the harm and what are you afraid might happen?