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Barbie's 'funky' new tattoo
Has the iconic doll's street-wise makeover turned her into a bad influence?
 
The edgy, tattoo-sleeved Barbie was designed by Simone Legno of pop culture design company tokidoki.
The edgy, tattoo-sleeved Barbie was designed by Simone Legno of pop culture design company tokidoki.
Mattel

The image: Barbie, Mattel's iconic doll, has seen and done a lot in her 50 years. Now, for the first time, she's been inked with a tattoo (see photo below). This isn't Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie who came with benign removable stickers a few years ago. The new "tokidoki Barbie" — designed by Simone Legno, Italian creator of the Japanese-influenced lifestyle brand, tokidoki — has permanent ink running up her left arm and across her chest. Mattel says tokidoki Barbie is a "funky fashionista," with a pink bob and skull-heart sweater to complement her "trendy tattoos." The doll isn't being marketed to kids — it's for sale on Mattel's Barbie Collector website for $50. But will covering Barbie with body art taint her wholesome image?

The reaction: Tokidoki Barbie "is essentially harmless and actually quite cute," says Souzan Michael at Trendhunter, but who are we kidding? A lot of conservative parents are going to be outraged. It's not hard to see why they'll think this Barbie's a bad influence, says This Fangirl Life. All that ink has turned "America's most prissy and disproportionate fashion model" into a "horrible hipster/socialite hybrid." Maybe this doll will spark a few "can I get tattooed like Barbie" requests, says MSN New Zealand's CLEO blog. "But we have to say, the design is super pretty." Besides, most other celebrities have tattoos these days, so it was only a matter of time before the constantly reinvented Barbie got one, too. Judge for yourself:

 

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