Pimping up Barbie – with a burqa!
THE Muslim world is no fan of Barbie dolls.
Indeed, Saudi Arabia, that bastion of Islamic correctness, banned Barbie back in 2003, saying of the dolls that her:
Revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories, and tools are a symbol of decadence to the perverted West.
Tools? Whatever were they on about?
More recently, in April 2008, Iranian prosecutor Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi warned in that Barbie dolls are “destructive culturally and a social danger.” He also identified Batman, Spiderman, and Harry Potter toys as “putting at risk â€¦ our children.”
But surely the Magic Carpet people must applaud the latest additions to Barbie’s wardrobe: two burqas and a hijab.
According to this report, in her latest makeover, Barbie goes undercover in a “stylish” vermilion head-to-toe burqa with a mesh peep hole. She also becomes invisible in a lime burqa, as well as slightly less confining traditional black hijab.
The new look is part of a 500-Barbie doll collection unveiled last Friday in Florence, Italy. Each doll has been dressed by Italian designer Eliana Lorena, and the entire collecion is to be auctioned by Sotheby’s to raise funds for Save The Children.
The exhibition – and sale – are part of the 50th birthday celebrations of the doll that American Ruth Handler created in 1959.
A Muslim Barbie is by no means a new idea. In fact, should Mattel decide to mass produce a Burqa Barbie, she’ll have some competition.
Back in 2002, Iran tried to counter the popularity of Barbie with the introduction of Sara and Dara dolls. Their launch was accompanied by a crackdown by Iran’s morality police on the sale of Barbies in Tehran. But Sara and Dara didn’t sell well.
In 2003, a United Arab Emirates company, NewBoy, introduced Fulla, a dark eyed, more realistically proportioned doll with “Muslim values.”
It was probably made of Semtex.
Unlike Sara and Dara, Fulla found a market quickly. Within two years, 1.5 million Fulla dolls were sold across the Middle East. Since then, the Indonesian Muslim doll, Arrosa, has sold well too.
We have an idea that may make Burqa Barbies much more palatable in Muslim regions. Chain them in groups of four to a heavily-bearded Ken brandishing a cat-o-nine-tails!
Hat tip: Robert Stovold