It was probably only a matter of time. In her 50+ years of existence, Barbie has been no stranger to controversy. She’s donned various guises, some particular stand-outs being McDonald’s Worker Barbie, Pooper Scooper Barbie, Cat Burglar Barbie — and at one point even Pregnant Barbie. Now there’s a new variation that some are already dubbing Drag Queen Barbie.
Except “Drag Queen Barbie” isn’t its actual title. And, in true Barbie tradition, it won’t reveal certain parts of the human anatomy — male or female.
Envisioned by fashion design duo The Blonds, the doll is officially styled, somewhat clunkily, as The Blonds Blond Diamond Barbie Doll. But it bears a striking likeness to one half of the duo, Phillipe Blond, who is himself a glamorous cross-dresser.
(More: Photo History — Barbie Turns 50)
“One of the great things about Barbie is that she continues to push the envelope,” Cathy Cline, vice president of marketing in the United States for Mattel’s girls’ brands told the New York Times. “Barbie doesn’t worry about what other people think.”
The Blonds’ partnership with Mattel began in 2009 — a mere two years after they launched their brand — when they were invited to take part in a fashion show marking Barbie’s 50th anniversary.
Phillipe’s partner, David Blond, is optimistic that the venture will enable the duo to break into the mainstream: “A whole different audience, that’s always good for anyone’s business,” he revealed to the New York Times. “And that’s the direction we would like to produce — things that are more accessible to more people. This is a step in the right direction.”
Dressed, according to its official description, in a “stunning silvery mini corset dress—designed by The Blonds themselves—featuring countless sculpted faux gems and a full length faux fox fur,” and accessorized with “silvery jewelry suite and glitter pumps,” the doll certainly “brings the most sparkly splendor of fashion.”
But parents be warned: If you’re planning on adding it to your daughter’s (or son’s) Barbie collection, you might find yourself a little pressed for cash. Just one doll will set you back an eye-popping $125.