|America’s first family of TV, the Simpsons,
is banned in Iran
They are irreverent. They are self-absorbed. And now, they are banned in Iran. The Iranian government recently announced that it’s banning the sale of all Simpson dolls from its shelves, like Barbie before them. Clearly, the Iranian government is having a cow.
|Barbie is illegal in Iran|
Which brings us to the Barbie ban. Last month, Iranian officials raided and shut down stores that were selling Barbie, which was officially banned two years ago, but had remained widely available on the black market.
But what if Barbie wore a chador, hajeb, or burka? The thought might make some American women cringe, but Barbie needs to be a doll that little girls can relate to, even in cultures so very different from our own. Should Barbie have a make-over so that she can be relatable to Islamic society? Barbie’s message to little girls is positive: you can be anything you can dream up. This is a powerful message for young girls in a society such as Iran’s where women are oppressed.
The occasion marked the year of Barbie’s fiftieth birthday. I wonder how America’s blond sweetheart reacted when they sat her down and told her, “Barbie, you’re turning fifty, time to break out the burka!” I would have said, “Barbie, look at you, girl. You’re fifty–rock that mini skirt!” Nevertheless, the idea behind burka Barbie is to create a version of the doll that even little girls in non-Western cultures can relate to, no matter where in the world they live.
|My daughter Leilani with her well-loved Barbie|