Mattel has recently had some good press after giving Barbie a diverse makeover after persistent complaints from parents who saw her as a bad role model for their children. We take a look at some of the dolls that made the blonde fashionista so controversial, including those that encourage anorexia, low aspirations and unplanned pregnancies. Have you ever played with any of these?

Other than promoting an unhealthy, fast-food diet, this Barbie is teaching young girls that they shouldn’t be moving higher up the career ladder than serving greasy burgers and cleaning tables.

2) Teen Talk

‘Math class is tough!’ is one of phrases that Teen Talk Barbie can say which plays on the ‘blonde bimbo’ stereotype and makes kids think that they cannot excel in their studies. Other phrases that failed to thrill parents-we wonder why- were: ‘Party dresses are fun!’ and ‘Do you have a crush on anyone?’

3) Oreo Barbie


When Mattel and Nabisco teamed up in ‘97, people were less concerned with milk’s favourite cookie than they were with its brand name, ‘Oreo’, which also doubled as a derogatory term for ‘a black person who acts white’. The doll came in black and white.

4) Midge & Baby

Barbie’s friend Midge was quickly pulled off the shelves due to complaints that she would encourage teen pregnancy. We actually had this one and thanks to Midge’s stomach, which would pop right off, had some very strange ideas about how babies were born.

5) Slumber Party Barbie

‘What is wrong with a harmless slumber party?’, you might ask. Nothing. Unless it involves a scale set to 110 pounds and a book titled How To Lose Weight. Flip the book over and it doesn’t get any better- ‘DON’T EAT’ is emblazoned in capital letters as if giving a warning.

6) Student Teacher

This 60’s Barbie was criticised for being a student teacher rather than an actual teacher. Barbie should really learn to aim higher (see number 1).

7) Growing Up Skipper

If Midge wasn’t enough to give young girls nightmares about a woman’s body, Barbie’s younger sister Skipper made it worse with her contorting limbs. If you twist her arms, she gets taller and sprout breasts. Rotate her arms back and she would revert to her miniature size. Creepy.

8) Totally Tattoo

Parents were worried that this doll was a bit inappropriate with her ‘tramp stamp’ and would encourage kids to get inked.

9) Wash and Watch

As bizarre as the name suggests, this Barbie gets a kick out of loading her dishwasher and watching her dishes get cleaned. Might we suggest more productive hobbies?

10) Barbie Forever and Tanner the dog

This poop-scooping Barbie came with her own pup who would excrete what he ate. The plastic doo-doos proved too much for people and this set was discontinued for fear that it contained choking hazards.

Words : Yashi Banymadhub

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