Thursday, March 12, 2009

Barbie and the Death of Tattoos

Every style and trend has a life span, and for some time now, I've been wondering what would signal the end of the tattoo trend in western cultures. This might be it.

Barbie, still the best selling girl's toy (now that they've eliminated those pesky Bratz dolls with fancy legal footwork) turns 50 this year and to celebrate Mattel introduces the Totally Stylin' Tattoos Barbie, which features both tattoo stickers and washable ink tattoos girls can apply to their dolls.

Most fashion trends last about a generation, then they're verboten for a while before they have a brief revival as "retro". It's been about 20 years for tattoos so they're probably headed for the Elysian fields with poodle skirts and flat-top hair cuts.

Nothing kills an edgy fashion statement like seeing it show up on a barbie doll.


ella144 said...

I don't know. Is this a sign of the end? Tatoos aren't so much a trend as a statement. Like getting your eyebrow/nose/bellybutton pierced, it's something you do when you're young and stupid (or drunk) or when you want to feel young. After all a tatoo is cheaper than that red Porshe.

A. Boyd C. said...

Honestly, I've never understood the whole tattoo phenomenon.

If the art were better, I might feel differently, but with very few exceptions, these are images I wouldn't put on a t-shirt, much less permanently attach to a living being and I'm actually a guy who enjoys images of tigers and dragons and unusual symbols and textual characters, but only when they're designed and applied by somebody with more talent than Napoleon Dynamite.

I still think this is a significant moment though. It's hard to make tattoos "cool" when your mom and barbie have them too.