Mar 09

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Happy Birthday Barbie- All American Girl

Barbie Tattoos

Yesterday was the 50th birthday of an American Icon- Barbie!
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this American Beauty. She has been transformed so many times – from the 50’s hoop skirt and All-American girl to Disney Princesses; and now they are even giving Barbie Tattoos and body piercing.

Besides the issue of what kind of example that sets for our children, (just look at the famous “Barbie Twins” with admitted eating disorders and Sarah Burge, the self-proclaimed “real life Barbie” who has had nearly a half million dollars in plastic surgery to transform herself into what she sees as the “perfect” body). As an Image Consultant I am concerned when we see Barbie, who is supposed to represent All-American and youthful beauty, being transformed into something mainstream and low-class looking. Having tattoos and body piercing certainly will not help young people when it comes time for them to find a job. By making it appear so accepted that “even Barbie is doing it” we are sending the wrong message to our youth. We’re telling them that tattoos are acceptable for wholesome young women.

What do you think? In our society, are tattoos acceptable for an all-American young girl or woman?

Permanent link to this article: http://sandydumont.com/happy-birthday-barbie-all-american-girl/


  1. Alecia

    Hello Ms. Dumont,
    I stumbled onto your post and honestly felt shocked, though it should not surprise me. I felt I must respond, and possibly open a dialog to discuss this further if you wish.
    I absolutely think that body modification, be it tattooing, piercing, or otherwise are completely acceptable forms of expression for young girls. I do have a biased opinion as I used to be a body piercer and have both tattoos and visible facial piercings. I gave up my career (which I loved) so that I could be a stay at home mom too my two daughters, both who have even at a young age expressed a desire to tattoo themselves and get pierced. We are an unusual family when viewed from the outside but are actually a typical family otherwise.
    I am an independent sales representative for two different direct sales companies. Some would believe that my visible modifications would be a hindrance to my ability to gain customers-not at all the case. Some of my best and most reliable customers are residence of senior assisted living facilities, which DO have other available representative. Some are curious about my appearance, others completely disregard it. I have had a few who didn’t ‘approve’ but have quickly looked past it too see ME, my work ethic, and my devotion to my customers.
    Also I wanted to bring up a common thought process I hear, that modified individuals will have problems getting a job. I have not had much of an issue with this even before I became a piercer, when I was pierced. Clear retainers are available, tattoo cover-up makeup is available. There is a Realtor who has a full facial tattoo, but conceals it from her clients with this makeup. Also available are careers in computer technology, or programing which are much less strict in their dress policy.
    Aside from those I find more of a problem that people will view those with modifications as less valuable, and less reliable than a non modified person. I truly believe THAT is more the issue than the choice a person makes.
    My husband is an electrician, shockingly modified to some people. He is requested by customers of the company for service work-why is this? He has been requested because he is respectful, “Yes Sir/Ma’am. No Sir”. People are beginning to see that the outward appearance of an individual is no indication of who they are as a person. As we teach our children, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ society seems to be catching up, and following the lesson it teaches.
    Thank you, I look forward to your response.

  2. Sandy Dumont

    Dear Alecia,
    I don’t make the rules, I simply report them.

    I have noticed that “old money” is discreet and never “shouts.” Their ties have small discreet patterns, not big ones, for example. I hope you understand my use of the term old money. It certainly has nothing to do with how rich you are. It is simply from an observation that people who are judged to be polished and classy are not usually wearing flashy items.

    My feedback from all the workshops I have done for companies is that certain things are of-putting. Those include flashy or provocative attire; sloppy attire, or any other carelessness with the appearance. My feedback from workshop attendees has been that tattoos and body piercings cause people to pause and have doubts. I’m not talking about a discreet tattoo – I’m talking about very large tattoos. Discreet is the keyword. Unfortunately,we are hardwired from caveman days to judge a book by its cover. It’s a matter of survival.

  3. Alecia

    There are many things that are hardwired as a basic instinct from the neolithic era, many thankfully have become socially unacceptable.
    Too me this is one of those basic ideas that is beginning to thankfully fall away. There is no issue of survival when it comes to judging someones value as a professional or otherwise.

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