Tuesday, December 20, 2005

And now, from the "Not enough dollars for the homeless because of research like THIS" files, and Yahoo! News...

(Holiday Barbie - or whatever she is - photo from
www.toygiftshop.com; disturbing image on right from barbieinablender.org)

Sudiegirl sez: I just have one thing to say about this...DUH! Whoever wrote this article (and also, whoever decided to conduct this research) doesn't spend a lot of time with little girls. Since Barbie stepped on this planet, more often that not, little girls have given Barbie haircuts and otherwise abused them in many ways.

My sister and I stuffed all of our Barbies in the bright yellow and orange Barbie Camper and threw it down the stairs, adding our own blood-curdling screams. We particularly enjoyed abusing my Mod-Hair Ken...by the time we were done with him, he had a Mohawk. I also took his head off and stuck a miniature bottle of Tabasco sauce in the hole, lid down...the lid came off and was then trapped forever inside the body of Mod Hair Ken, but by then I had outgrown Barbies anyway so I just used him as a makeshift maraca. (See, when you live out in the country and can't drive yet, you do all kinds of things to entertain yourself.)

Researchers Find Barbie Is Often Mutilated
(In a related story, researchers also find that water is wet.)

By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press Writer
Mon Dec 19, 6:02 PM ET

LONDON - Barbie, beware.

The iconic plastic doll is often mutilated at the hands of young girls, according to research published Monday by British academics. (I repeat...DUH! Your researcher needs to spend more time with little girls. They can be quite stealthy and destructive.)

"The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a 'cool' activity," said Agnes Nairn, one of the University of Bath researchers. "The types of mutilation are varied and creative, and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving." (Now microwaving is a new one on me...)

Researchers from the university's marketing and psychology departments questioned 100 children about their attitudes to a range of products as part of a study on branding. They found Barbie provoked the strongest reaction, with youngsters reporting "rejection, hatred and violence," Nairn said. (Hmmm...so what does that mean to Mattel? They still make these pneumatic babes that look like they're victims of foot binding...)

"The meaning of 'Barbie' went beyond an expressed antipathy; actual physical violence and torture towards the doll was repeatedly reported, quite gleefully, across age, school and gender," she said. (Well, ain't that a corker? And "gleefully", no less!)

While boys often expressed nostalgia and affection toward Action Man — the British equivalent of GI Joe — renouncing Barbie appeared to be a rite of passage for many girls, Nairn said. (Yeah, that's about the size of it. Again, the researcher has obviously not spent time around girls.)

"The most readily expressed reason for rejecting Barbie was that she was babyish, and girls saw her as representing their younger childhood out of which they felt they had now grown," she said. (That, and a physical ideal that's pure bullshit!)

Nairn said many girls saw Barbie as an inanimate object rather than a treasured toy. (Ya know what? They blow up real good when you put a little firecracker in there...)

"Whilst for an adult the delight the child felt in breaking, mutilating and torturing their dolls is deeply disturbing, from the child's point of view they were simply being imaginative in disposing of an excessive commodity in the same way as one might crush cans for recycling," she said. (No, that wasn't what we were thinking...we wanted to be mistresses of our own destiny and crush the things to holy oblivion.)

Manufacturer Mattel, which sells 94 million Barbies a year worldwide, said the doll remained the "No. 1 fashion doll brand." (And the leading cause of anorexia/bulimia, don't forget that!)

Mattel U.K. said that despite the findings of "this very small group of children, we know that there are millions of girls in the U.K. and across the world that love and enjoy playing with Barbie and will continue to do so in the future." (Very small my ASS!!!!!!! Did you ever think that destroying Barbie constitutes playing with it? Also, you get new ones faster if the old ones are messed up. Again, DUH!)

Sudiegirl's final opinion?

This is proof that there is some research that doesn't necessarily need to be performed. Thank god my tax dollars weren't paying for it!

Have a Barbie Day, y'all...