Iran’s alternative to Ken and Barbie : Dara and Sara

The Barbie ban as reported in Time magazine refers to the news that the Iranian ‘morality police’ are engaged in a ‘soft war’ against those Western values they fear will lead to young girls getting ideas above their station in life.

This means that they want to stamp out anything that gives women any notion that they can be anything more than chattels to the men.

Heinous as this is, there is also something ironic about them targeting Barbies since feminists in the so-called ‘free’ west have  also cited these dolls for their  “destructive cultural and social consequences”. 

Mattel’s range of  I Can Be… Barbie dolls  are partly a reaction to the changing times. This range is marketed as giving young  girls less sexist role models and to reflect a more go-getting  image of womanhood.

“Wanna go for a ride?”

The jobs currently include architect, pet vet, lifeguard and art teacher and chef.  But Barbie the movie star is still a Princess and another  ‘career’  as a race-car driver is stretching credibility a bit far. It seems evident that most Barbie addicts are more likely to aspire to be race queens or pit babes at Formula One events.

We may like to think we live in a society where ‘morality police’ is just the stuff of some Orwellian nightmare but indoctrination comes in many shapes and forms.

For instance, you only have to see how cosmetic surgery and eating disorders are regarded as ‘normal’ these days to see that the image of the perpetually skinny and trendy Barbie-girl may not as innocent and fun as she appears. Give me Emily the Strange as a role model any day.

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