Trawling through Facebook the other night, I came across a posting about a new Barbie, never a fan personally, but apparently Mattel are bringing out 'Hijab Barbie' to honour Ibtihaj Muhammad, an American fencer who competed in last year’s Olympics.
It's a Barbie doll with a headscarf but I couldn't stop thinking how Mattel could really diversify the Barbie range to bring Barbie into the modern era so she reflects the reality of women's lives in different culture's around the world today, and I've come up with a few ideas of my own. So, here's a few suggestions...
Narcissistic Barbie - comes with her own I-phone, a selfie-stick, a seat and a mirror. So, she can sit all day checking her appearance, taking photos of herself and posting them on Facebook.
Saudi Barbie - comes with an all-black abaya. She has no accessories as everything she owns belongs to her husband.
Sweat-shop Barbie - comes with an extra large bladder so she doesn't need many toilet breaks and 2 Duracell batteries so she can keep working longer. She has a family but they don't come with her as they live miles away and are being cared for by elderly grandparents.
Trafficked Barbie - she looks like a dancer and comes with a contract that binds her to a pimp in financial slavery for 20 years. He also keeps her money and passport but does provide plenty of drugs.
Sexually-assaulted Celebrity Barbie - comes with designer clothing and has been brought out to replace the old casting-couch Barbie, who's clothes all fell off when you put a film contract in her purse. Sexually-assaulted celebrity Barbie comes with a guaranteed court case, a front page headline, a middle-page spread in the Daily tabloid and a special guest appearance on Dr Phil. Other accessories include a police interview and a copy of a Daily tabloid tracking her assailant's career implosion in the trial by media.
Sexually-assaulted (not a celebrity) Barbie - comes with torn clothing and a police interview. She also has a tabloid blaming her for wearing 'provocative' clothing with the option of an appearance on the Jeremy Kyle show to confront her attacker.
Domestic Violence Barbie - comes with her own special make-up (to cover up those bruises) and a door which she pretends she walked into. She used to come with the phone number for the local women's shelter but it's been closed now because of austerity cuts so she has a pair of runners in case she needs to make a quick getaway.
I was tempted to suggest FGM Barbie but I think Barbie has already been FGM'ed.