Kids Are Mean

The Telegraph: In a finding that will astonish many parents, academics at Bath University concluded that girls attack their Barbie dolls as a symbol of their rejection of the consumer society. “Barbie provoked rejection, hatred and violence,” said Dr. Agnes Nairn, who led the research for the university’s school of management.
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“The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity, and see the torture as a ‘cool’ activity,” the researchers said.
The mutilation ranged from cutting off hair to decapitating and putting the dolls in microwaves.
Dr. Nairn said the children were aware that they were being exploited by “over-marketing and over-charging”. While boys had feelings of nostalgia for Action Man dolls, girls saw Barbie as “babyish” and felt that rejecting the doll was a “rite of passage”.
Barbie also symbolised excess because girls often had several versions of the toy, the researchers said. “Barbies are not special; they are disposable, and are thrown away and rejected.”

About David Burn

Fired up to write it down. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Chief storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands.

  • Bob

    What a load of crap. Girls don’t mutilate their Barbie dolls because they’re rejecting consumerism. They do it because it’s fun. I suppose little boys who fry insects under a magnifying glass are “rejecting environmentalism.”

  • http://www.adscam.typepad.com George Parker

    Hey… If you read the study from Bath University you’ll realize it’s based on a sample of 100 tiny chicks… See my blog for further comments. Just goes to prove, if you can have a multi-million $ campaign blown out of the water by half a dozen cro-magnons in a focus group. Why not kick the shit out of Barbies with 100 Lara Croft wannabees?