Protests in Berlin over Barbie Dreamhouse event

Friday 17 May 2013 15.52
1 of 6
Protesters said there was too much emphasis on being pretty
Protesters said there was too much emphasis on being pretty
A Femen protester holds a burning Barbie on a cross
A Femen protester holds a burning Barbie on a cross
The organisers of the event said the Dreamhouse Experience was a positive thing
The organisers of the event said the Dreamhouse Experience was a positive thing
Josi (L), Lara (C) and Luna, all 6, try out computer terminals in Barbie's library
Josi (L), Lara (C) and Luna, all 6, try out computer terminals in Barbie's library
The Barbie Dreamhouse is a life-sized house full of Barbie fashion, furniture and accessories
The Barbie Dreamhouse is a life-sized house full of Barbie fashion, furniture and accessories
Young visitors discuss the merchandise on offer at the Barbie Boutique
Young visitors discuss the merchandise on offer at the Barbie Boutique

Women's rights protesters disrupted the opening of a giant pink doll's house in Berlin yesterday, saying the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience objectified women.

Promoting the doll made by Mattel Inc, the house allows paying visitors to try on Barbie's clothes, play in her kitchen and have a go on her pink piano.

The exhibition will be open until 25 August.

A group of protesters gathered outside the shocking pink house, which has been erected in one of central Berlin's greyest areas.

A topless woman, a member of the Femen protest group, who had the slogan "Life in plastic is not fantastic" scrawled across her chest, set fire to a Barbie doll tied to a mini crucifix.

"There's too much emphasis on becoming more beautiful and on being pretty and that puts an awful lot of pressure on girls as well as wasting capacities which they could use to simply be happy or for school," said Stevie Meriel Schmiedel, a founding member of the "Pink Stinks" protest group.

"We're protesting because Barbie would not be able to survive with her figure and yet she is an idol for many girls and that's not healthy," she said.

One placard read: "Dear Barbie - don't just bake cupcakes, eat them too!"

A male protester in a wig, pink shirt and shimmering skirt held a poster reading: "Do you like me now?"

Christoph Rahofer, chief executive of Event Marketing Services, which organised the exhibition, similar to one that recently opened in Sunrise, Florida, said the Dreamhouse Experience was a positive thing.

"It's basically about playing, being amazed and discovering - there's lots of hidden things to be found and it's an interactive exhibition."

The Barbie doll made its debut in 1959, and is named after Barbara, the daughter of its inventor Ruth Handler, according to Mattel's website.

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use