Protesters staged a demonstration against a bright pink life-sized plastic Barbie house in Berlin on Thursday (May 16), criticizing the city's latest attraction for focusing too strongly on women's appearances.
"The problem is not to have a Barbie house. That alone would not be bad if there were a lot of other offers for young girls, such as a gigantic dollhouse with a wood workshop or something else that is creative or manual or technical. Most girls today want to become a top model and that's a big problem. Most people on social welfare are women. A lot of times, women don't enter professions with job security. Those jobs are currently technical jobs," said Stevie Meriel Schmiedel, a founding member of the "Pink Stinks" protest group.
A handful of demonstrators brandished placards such as "Dear Barbie - don't just bake cupcakes, eat them too!" and "Barbie is not my baby", while one male protester in a wig, pink shirt and shimmering skirt held a poster reading "Do you like me now?"
Visitors to the Barbie house, which opened on Thursday and measures some 2,500 square meters, can try on the doll's clothes, play in her kitchen and have a go on her pink piano.
Reactions were mixed to the attraction.
"I have a Barbie house at home and it's great to play with. Also, there are always new things being introduced so it never gets boring," said Barbie fan Celina Wiese.
"Everything makes a very artificial impression. You can touch it but it would be great if it were possible to bake a real muffin. But oh well, it's something different," Barbie house visitor and mother of a Barbie fan, Leila Burak said.
"It was beautiful. I really liked it very much," another young visitor Leonie Wiese said.
The company in charge of the "Dreamhouse" say it was a major project to put together.
"This plot is larger than the White House, a comparison Americans find quite interesting and which they can put into relation here in Europe. The area has 5,000 square meters and the house itself has a surface of 2,750 square meters. So for a private home, it's pretty big," said Christoph Rahofer, CEO of Event Marketing Services.