Barbie is involved in another controversy, i.e. Burqa Barbie. It seems that Mattel has offended some Islamic women, and they’re demanding that Mattel take note. Mattel has produced 500 Barbies in a Burqa for auction in Italy. The auction is part of Barbie’s 50th anniversary. Proceeds will go to the Rewrite the Future, a charity, which helps millions of children around the world effected by conflict.
A representative from Mattel has stated, “I think this is really important for girls, wherever they are from they should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them”.
Muslim women are offended because the Burqa is not a true representation of Islamic dress, so where is Mattel coming from? Islamic women are fighting to not have to wear a Burqa. The Burqa is believed by Muslim women to be a garment forced on them during the Taliban, it is not mentioned in the Quran; therefore, it should not be seen as a part of their traditional dress. The Quran is our Bible. They see the Burqa as a means to oppress women. Muslim women are required to wear Hijabs, a scarf, to cover their heads and to dress modestly only. The Burqa is worn over a woman’s normal dress when she is outside the home in some Islamic countries. It is made to cover them from head to toe. Because of political instability, it was seen as a way of protecting women so they were forced to wear them.
I normally don’t post on religious or cultural issues, but I believe this concern was important enough to bring to light. Especially since it involved a toy maker. I am somewhat knowledgeable of Islam and I am aware that Islamic women are fighting for rights as women. Rights that we take for granted in this country. Muslim women believe that Mattel should have taken the time to understand the Islamic culture and what it represents before they produced a doll that supposedly represents traditional Islamic dress. Especially, a Barbie doll that little girls will be playing with. Burqas are currently the center of a big controversy in Western Europe. They are being banned because they are not a part of the traditional Islamic dress.I posted on the Burqa Barbie because so many problems are created simply because statements and opinions are formed without having all the facts. What’s funny is Mattel’s Barbie has been banned in most Islamic countries. They see her as being too westernized for their little girls. She has been replaced with the Fulla doll (shown above). This doll is more culturally correct as far as Islamic dress than the Burqa Barbie produced by Mattel.
I patronize Mattel and I will continue; however, a little research will go a long way when it comes to cultural and religious issues. Do you think Mattel should have done their homework before they produced a culturally incorrect Barbie? Do you think the focus was on money rather than the fight of Islamic women for their rights? Would love to hear your thoughts on the Burqa Barbie.