wears the trousers magazine

mattel announce ‘ladies of the 80s’ barbie range

271009_mattelIcons turned into tiny-waisted toys

Mattel, the brand behind anorexia’s poster girl Barbie, have recently announced their latest disempowering line, Ladies Of The ’80s. Released just in time to hit those Christmas shopping baskets, the range includes Debbie Harry and Joan Jett, who go on sale in December, and Cyndi Lauper who goes out in January, presumably because she’s ‘Good Enough’ to compete with all January sales items. Barbra Streisand will also have a mini-me doll out in November, though she’s not officially part of the range. True to form, Mattel have managed to turn these beautiful, iconic women into unrealistically proportioned, inert lumps of vinyl, a process that reduces their careers and achievements to disposable playthings in one fell swoop, undoubtedly aimed at young girls who would benefit more from the gift of a real guitar rather than the miniature, plastic one that Jett’s emaciated figure is accessorised with.

We’re all for championing visibility but this is just damaging, both to the artists and to all the “six and above” year olds the dolls are aimed at. Quite why these artists signed off on this deal is a mystery; no proceeds seem to be going to charity and it’s laughable to think that Jett, Harry or Lauper need the press. We’d much rather have a Beth Ditto doll, though sadly the more realistically moulded creation by London-based company Superdoll Collectables we mentioned earlier this year was just a one-off. Hopefully, consumers everywhere will be more likely to pick up an album or a DVD rather than one of these eating-disorders-in-a-box. We say get cracking DIY style and knock up your own homemade anti-Barbies, Kate Bush, Siouxsie and Lita Ford style! Wendy O Williams would make a particularly fetching Christmas stocking filler, don’t you think?

Charlotte Richardson Andrews

Joan Jett, ‘I Love Rock & Roll’


2 Comments so far
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Cyndi need money for the True Colors Residence. Based in New York City, the residence will provide permanent housing with support services for LGBT youth.

Comment by Ma

i think they are FIERCE! i would LOVE a siouxsie sioux and kylie minogue one! as for people bagging on barbie: get a life! it’s a toy for christ’s sake. i never grew up feeling bad about myself cause my body didn’t look like ken’s or GI joes…

Comment by mr. minogue

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