While this headline may seem like a typo, it is a fact that the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience opened on May 16 near Berlin's Alexanderplatz shopping district. Criticism is mounting against the life-size "Barbie Dreamhouse Experience" opening this week in Berlin, with feminist activists calling for protests.
When Europe's first Barbie Dreamhouse Experience attraction opens in Berlin on Thursday, a number of young girls will probably be eager to get inside. Culminating weeks of criticism, feminist groups plan to demonstrate outside the giant pink mansion to call attention to what they say is a sexist role model that embodies the "pinkification" of childrens' toys. Coverage of the attraction -- which features an "endless" closet, cupcake baking kitchen, fashion runway and pop-star karaoke stage -- have been decidedly less flattering than the Barbie outfits on display there. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE editorial over the weekend, author Silke Burmester accused Christoph Rahofer, the head of EMS, the Vienna-based marketing firm behind the Barbie world, of creating a place to educate young girls in the arts of superficiality.


Occupy Barbie Dreamhouse, a group set up in March by Michael Koschitzki, a member of the far-left Left Party's youth organization, has spearheaded the protest movement against the Dreamhouse, printing thousands of flyers and calling on fellow feminists to gather outside for speeches and protest outside the temporary attraction on Thursday. The group says its protests aren't targeted at parents who bring their children to the Dreamhouse, nor the children who enjoy playing with Barbie dolls, the group says.
Occupy Barbie Dreamhouse, whose name is a nod to the anti-avarice Occupy Wall Street movement, will also be joined by the German chapter of Pinkstinks, a group that campaigns against products, advertising and marketing they claim contribute to the limitation and "pinkification" of gender roles.
Mattel, the US toymaker that has been producing Barbie dolls since 1959 and issued a license for the project in Berlin, has likely become accustomed to criticism of what the doll is perceived to represent. Sign up for our newsletter -- and get the very best of SPIEGEL in English sent to your email inbox twice weekly. I agree to receive information about products from SPIEGEL-Verlag and manager magazin Verlagsgesellschaft (e.g.


Bringing the doll's fantasy life into the real world goes too far in spreading damaging stereotypes, they say. It certainly won't be the first time that the blonde, anatomically impossible doll has drawn the ire of gender rights activists, but something about the attempt to make the fantasy into an actual "experience," as the Barbie Dreamhouse organizers call it, seems to have hit a nerve. Indeed, "Barbie has again become a tool for some to advance their own agenda," a spokesperson for the company's German unit told news agency AFP.
The dollhouse for humans is a "Hell in Rose Pink," a headline in daily SA?ddeutsche Zeitung said last week.



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