Skip to main content

Berlin Barbie bummer; feminists protest Dreamhouse opening

By Frances Cha, CNN
updated 10:42 AM EDT, Wed May 15, 2013
Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience opens in Berlin, May 16.
Barbie The Dreamhouse Experience opens in Berlin, May 16.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New 27,000-square-foot Barbie Dreamhouse showcases doll's Malibu lifestyle
  • Barbie is a bad role model for young women, say young protestors
  • Visitors can see 350 dolls, bake virtual cupcakes and walk a pink runway

(CNN) -- Guess it's a cultural thing.

While a Barbie-themed restaurant opening was hailed with general delight and fanfare in Taipei earlier this year, the opening of the blonde doll's new European digs is being met with quite a different reception in Germany.

Left-wing feminists are protesting the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience -- a 27,000-square-foot lifesized pink estate -- opening in Berlin on May 16.

Located off the shopping district of Alexanderplatz, the Berlin Dreamhouse is meant to show off Barbie's Malibu lifestyle.

The pink mansion is full of rooms showcasing how her makeup, kitchen and wardrobe are put together.

Barbie\'s pink digs display her extensive wardrobe and an apparent shopping addiction.
Barbie's pink digs display her extensive wardrobe and an apparent shopping addiction.

In addition to viewing 350 Barbie dolls and other displays, visitors can strut a long runway, "bake" virtual cupcakes in a pink kitchen or eat real ones in the cafe. And, of course, shell out for dolls and products in the gift shop.

Protestors from the Left Party are up in arms over the sexism and shallow materialism that they argue Barbie symbolizes.

"They present an image of cooking, primping and singing, as if it were in some way life-fulfilling," Socialist Alternative editor Michael Koschitzki, 27, told German newspaper Der Spiegel.

"The Barbie Dreamhouse is the expression of a conventional role model that isn't OK," he said.

Barbie has long been a subject of controversy -- with criticisms ranging from sexism to racism to creating body image issues for girls.

The Berlin movement has led to an "Occupy Barbie Dreamhouse" page on Facebook, which displays a cover image of a dark-haired girl saying, "I can't stand pink!" in German. The page currently has 1,761 likes and is updated every few hours.

The group behind the Facebook page has also announced it's planning a peaceful protest for opening day.

The Berlin mansion is Barbie's first Dreamhouse in Europe and will be dismantled to tour other European cities after August 25.

A U.S. Dreamhouse opened last week in a Florida shopping mall, to mixed reviews.

Barbie the Dreamhouse Experience, Voltairestraße 2a/Dircksenstraße, Berlin; +49 30 4799 7433; May 16-August 25, 2013; open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily; admission €15 for adults, €12 for children under 14

7 of the world's girliest hotel getaways

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:26 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
the Teufelsberg or
Spooks have left their mark on a once-divided city still thought to be an espionage hotbed.
updated 6:06 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
nanjing, handicrafts
With more than 6,000 years of history, Nanjing is one of the few cities in China still practicing the country's endangered traditional crafts.
updated 12:10 PM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
Rock and weather collide over millennia to create natural bridges. Here are 15 of our favorites from around the world.
updated 1:39 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
A one-nun brewing operation, Sister Doris is putting Germany's women beer makers on the map. Sort of.
updated 2:07 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
From Myanmar to Mickey Mouse, Stefan Zwanzger, aka The Theme Park Guy, gives his rundown of the best.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
Four hundred years after the death of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, her murderous exploits prove a grisly attraction.
updated 8:50 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Formed by volcanoes and steeped in a rich history of Polynesian culture, Hawaii sounds more like a place in a fantasy novel rather than an American travel oasis.
updated 7:56 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Despite Kyoto's allure, until this year there's been a glaring absence from the city's travel scene -- a top tier, super-luxury hotel brand.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Why global adventurer Alastair Humphreys now looks for 'microadventures' close to home.
updated 7:33 AM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Don't order Corona and don't freak out when you see Jessica Alba without makeup and you might pass for local.
updated 7:01 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
History buff? Hardcore surfer? These South Pacific islands have every traveler covered.
updated 11:14 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Airlines and airports are going high-tech to reduce your time in line.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Summer isn't over yet. These new hotels are keeping it alive and fresh.
updated 2:32 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Eight of the top 10 scoring cities in the Economic Intelligence Unit's annual Liveability Survey are in Australia and Canada.
updated 6:21 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
When a man tells me to "trust him," my typical reaction is to run.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT