Hands On: Cyborg Fashion Photo Barbie

Barbie, at once a gender pioneer and enabler of countless anorexic, has found her newest role: human-machine hybrid.

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Barbie Photo Fashion is just like any other digital photog out there—immaculate blonde hair, chunky heart-bejeweled belt, eyes the size of pancakes, and a enormous LCD implanted in her abdomen. Instead of a DSLR, however, her shooter of choice is the lens sticking out of her back. When I saw her at Toy Fair, I joked to the Mattel rep creepily dressed to resemble her, So, Nikon or Canon? But instead of replying, she just stared at me and I saw my reflection in her grin, and the world seemed cold and alien to me. Then I looked back at Barbie Photo Fashion (shouldn't it be Fashion Photo Barbie?) and saw my face framed by cupcakes, just one of the Fun Customizations allowed. The screen looks awful, but it's ok—I felt better. It's lame that Mattel stereotypes girls, thinking the easiest way to put a digital camera into a young female's hands is by smuggling it inside a doll, but maybe it'll spark an interest in photography that wouldn't start otherwise.

Barbie Photo Fashion will cost $50 when she walks into toy stores this summer. She comes with a pink, glittery USB cord.

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DISCUSSION

Not a huge fan of Barbie- don't like the body image issues inherent in the doll, although I imagine that body image means crap to a five year old. I will say that if you want you little girl to have a camera, why not just give her a camera? My daughter has had a digital camera of some sort (first one was a Fisher Price .004234 megapixel indestructible monster) since she was five and didn't have to be duped or attracted to the notion of taking photos by a doll. Seems rather lame to me- and $50 bones will probably get you a much better camera.