Home inContext Iran’s Barbie Wars

Iran’s Barbie Wars

Cory Missimore

Iran’s Prosecutor General says Barbie dolls are a cultural danger with “destructive cultural and social consequences,” Reuters reports. He also deems Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter as “danger warning[s]”.

In 2002, Iran banned Barbie, USA Today reported. Two years ago, police raided toy shops and put black stickers on Barbie packaging to hide their bodies, the New York Times reported. Barbie offends Iran’s rule that women must cover all bodily contours – even plastic dolls.

Iran’s answer to Barbie is Sara, which lacks Barbie’s popularity. U.S. muslims have another Muslim counter to Barbie, complete with long sleeves a headscarf: Razzane.

For a glimpse into the world of Islamist cultural weapons, see Olivier Guitta’s article in the Winter 2007 edition of inFOCUS.