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New Barbie Causes Controversy

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Reporter: Heather Rosenbaum | Videographer: Jonathan Merryman

Danville, VA -- The newest Barbie by Mattel is causing controversy.

The $50 doll has pink hair and a tattooed chest and shoulders with a bright mini skirt and spiked companion.

"It's teaching kids to want tattoos before they are old enough to dress like that," said Kevin Buckner, a Richmond resident.

Many parents expressed outrage as the doll they grew up with may have aged a bit differently.

"I think it is disgusting. I personally think tattoos are trashy," said Cynthia Brandt, a Danville resident.

"If I give it to her she will think it's okay. She may want to go get some," said Bill Smith, a Danville resident.

David Crews, a psychology major who works with underprivileged children, says a child's body image may not be reflective of his or her toys.

"I don't necessarily think that it will have a negative effect as far as their overall sense of self worth or how they feel about themselves," said Crews.

Crews believes that a doll does not define the development of children. And playing with an inked up Barbie doesn't guarantee a rebellious child.

"They play a small part on who we become. The majority part of that is decided by how we are raised and how much love we are shown by our parents," said Crews.

"It's definitely on the parent what's going to happen with the kid. Kids grow up what they are raised, what they are taught," said Jeffrey Seiden, a Danville resident.

Only available online, the doll is marketed towards collectors, not as a toy. But many adults still see her as a doll they don't want in their child's toy chest.

"I would never buy that for my daughter," said Brandt.

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Crews also said that plenty of celebrities also have tattoos. So do other toys like action figures and wrestlers, therefore escaping exposure to the trend has become nearly impossible.

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