[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 19 December 2005, 08:46 GMT
Barbie dolls become 'hate' figure
Barbie doll
Barbie dolls have been attacked and even decapitated
Barbie dolls are sometimes "tortured" by youngsters - who even confess to placing the toy in the microwave.

Researchers at Bath university found many girls aged seven to 11 subjected dolls to "maiming and decapitation".

"When we asked the groups of junior school children about Barbie, the doll provoked rejection, hatred and violence," said Dr Agnes Nairn.

The feelings were attributed to Barbie being a feminine icon, "plastic" and an unwelcome reminder of their childhood.

Rite of passage

"It's as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past," said Dr Nairn.

"The types of mutilation are varied and creative and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."

The findings were part of research into children's attitudes towards marketing and branded goods.

Dr Nairn said many children were found to be more engaged by celebrities than toys.

"We were surprised to find that the most resonant discussions among the children did not centre around toys and games, but on sports celebrities, pop stars and TV shows."

Barbie blues for toy-maker Mattel
17 Oct 05 |  Business
Is Barbie past her shelflife?
21 Apr 04 |  Business
Passion over for Barbie and Ken
13 Feb 04 |  Americas
Tired toys try a retro relaunch
25 Sep 03 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific