While reading Reuters’ story about Iran’s morality police cracking down on the moral peril of Barbie peddlers I remembered this story from November 2009:
“Wearing the traditional Islamic dress, the iconic doll is going undercover, make over for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby’s for Save the Children.
Eliana Lorena is putting Barbie undercover for an auction to celebrate the doll’s 50th anniversary.”
In 2008, Iranian prosecutor Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabadi warnedthat: “The displays of personalities such as Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter… as well as the irregular importation of unsanctioned computer games and movies are all warning bells to officials in the cultural arena,” according to a copy of a letter seen by Associated Press. “The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger,” he said.
But the Hejab Barbie story goes back even further.
In 2002, Iran created Barbie and Ken Islamic alternatives Sara and Dara and launched them with the help of the overworked morality police, but (gasp!) they did not sell well.
The addition of a little sister did nothing to redeem the failed project.
In 2003, Saudi Arabia banned Barbie, saying the doll’s revealing clothes and shameful postures, accessories and tools were a symbol of decadence to the perverted West. The following year, United Arab Emirates toy maker Newboy introduced a doll named Fulla, a dark-eyed, more realistically proportioned doll, with “Muslim values”. This one was more successful than Iran’s Sara and Dara, selling over 2 million in the first two years.
- Will Barbie go bold and bald? (thehindu.com)
- No veiled threat: ‘Destructive’ Barbie off Iranian shelves (rt.com)