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From Bikini to Burqa

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Rohit Sharma

If Disney can do it, so can Mattel. Disney brought in a black leading lady as its princess in “The princess & the frog”, Mattel, now hopes to reach out to Muslim girls worldwide through its ‘Burqa Barbie’. The idea is novel- the doll went undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby’s (auctioneer) for Save The Children, a few months back, when Barbie celebrated its 50th anniversary.

A "western" Barbie

But why burqa? After the launch, there were swarms of online protests when people questioned Mattel’s choice of a symbol of oppression. President of the National Organization for Women NY said, “Women are forced to wear the burqa or risk being murdered. Mattel should be ashamed. Making a profit by selling a doll that is clearly wearing a symbol of violence is not acceptable and there should be a public outcry to take this doll off the market.”

Someone in an interview to dailymail.co.uk made fun of the new doll saying, “The message with Barbie for women is you can be whatever you want to be… I have a Barbie in a wheelchair that was only out for six weeks.”

Mattel which reported a 3% slump in the worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand clearly seem to be desperate.

American writer, Phyllis Chesler said, “Will clean-cut Ken now come (pun intended) with four burqa’ed Barbie doll wives?”

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