You won't find Barbie lounging around her Dream House this summer. Instead, the famous blonde will be making her debut at Ellis Island, a far cry from Malibu. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Barbie Dolls of the World collection, Barbie gathered a group of the collection's most iconic dolls, representing more than 40 nations, in a special exhibit at the former immigration station in New York Harbor, which begins June 16.
In addition to the Ellis Island exhibit, Barbie doll is also debuting the Barbie Landmark Doll Collection (pictured above), a fashionable new line inspired by some of the world’s most famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, and the Eiffel Tower.
While I can’t help but pine for the classic blue coat, buttoned knee-high boots, and fur hat worn by this year’s Russia Barbie (above, left), some of the other “traditional costumes” are a bit garish and, dare I say it, stereotypical.
Though they’ve come a long way since “Oriental Barbie” in 1981, and Canadian Barbie in 1988 (dressed as a Mountie, of course), their image of French women has changed little in 29 years (France Barbie Doll is dressed like a can-can dancer in 2009, just as she was in 1980).
What do you think? Do you think these traditional threads present cultures around the world accurately, or do they perpetuate stereotypes? Chime in below!
Lyndsey Matthews is the online editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.