Have you ever been up and down the aisles of a toy shop and noticed how enticing the boys toys are then been faced by the rows and rows of dolls and doll paraphernalia that make up the girls' section? And dominating that section is the pink bordello, a monument to kitsch, reserved for Barbie and her pink accoutrements.
Buying toys for my son was always a great pleasure but until my daughter began to be fashion conscious, buying anything for her was a chore. She never went through a classic doll phase ('Dad, I don't like them, they stare at me.') but like most young girls she went through a phase of being Barbie-obsessed. Fortunately, especially to my wallet, the phase didn't last long and her vast collection of Barbies and their bits and pieces got assigned to a box at the bottom of a cupboard before making the final move out of the home.
So, it's no surprise to read yesterday's TimesOnline to discover research has found that Barbie is routinely tortured by young girls.
The methods of mutilation are varied and creative, ranging from scalping to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving, according to academics from the University of Bath.
“You might expect little girls to love their Barbie and expect an imaginary love in return. Instead girls feel violence and hatred towards their Barbie,” Agnes Nairn, one of the researchers, said.
“The children never talked of one single, special Barbie. The girls almost always talked about having a box full of Barbies. So to them Barbie has come to symbolise excess. Barbies are not special; they are disposable, and are thrown away and rejected,” Dr Nairn said.
And now, one of Barbie's lesser known films. Be warned, it may offend sensitive viewers .
Let me know if the clip doesn't play.