Achtung Baby Or Barbie Ban

27/06/2011 16:20 | Updated 22 May 2015
Achtung Baby or Barbie banRex Features

"The Barbie doll herself is a fetish. She is descended from a sex toy."

This according to Germain Greer on Question Time when discussing the sexualisation of children. On this occasion I was with her all the way.

Now, in all honesty, I rather like a chap to hold the door open for me and help me on with my coat. If my husband offers to carry a heavy bag for me, I'll usually give it up. And just recently an elderly gentleman actually doffed his cap which I found charming. Although maybe he was just scratching his head...Anyway its safe to say I'm not a radical feminist. So shoot me.

That said, it will be a cold day in hell before I buy my daughter a Barbie or any derivative thereof. The situation has not yet raised it's bleached blond vacuous head, but Finje knows I don't like them. After last weeks Lady Gaga conversation I'm holding out hope that she will herself decide which female figures are acceptable role models. Despite the absence of Lederhosen Barbie or Birkrenstock Barbie, this doll still seems to be as popular here in Germany as in the UK.


Finje, in a rare unquestioning acceptance of my opinion, has not yet questioned my distaste for these dolls but I look forward to that conversation when her curiosity eventually gets the better of her. I suspect I may find myself channelling my inner feminist after all.

Whilst you may accuse me of overreacting, you should be aware of a dialogue I happened to overhear between Finje and a friend of hers. Not unlike many of her peers, her friend fancies herself as quite the princess. Her room is swathed in all things pink and lilac and she is seldom seen without her tiara. Finje, who couldn't care less what she wears, whose favourite toy is a fireman's hose (don't!) and claims her favourite colour to be black, gets along, inexplicably, exceptionally well with The Princess!

Princess: Look at Barbie, isn't she perfect? She has such beautiful hair.

Finje: No! My mama is perfect and she doesn't look anything like Barbie.

I took that as a compliment.

Resisting the temptation to whoop and click my heels together a la Morecambe & Wise, I satisfied myself with the thought that I must be doing something right.

Barbies: are you for or against or a little bit in between?


Achtung Baby
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