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 5:56 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
updated 5:36 AM EST, Thu December 11, 2014
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
updated 3:38 PM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
updated 1:25 AM EST, Wed December 10, 2014
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
updated 4:42 PM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
updated 9:41 AM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
updated 5:32 PM EST, Mon December 8, 2014
These statues are awe-inspiring even for the strongest of non-believers.
updated 11:59 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
The Palace of the Parliament, built by former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
25 years after the death of Romania's communist dictator, tourism is helping heal old wounds.
updated 6:52 AM EST, Fri December 5, 2014
Photo sharing website names the top 10 destinations for geo-tagged snapshots.
updated 5:05 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
New York may be a paradise of Zagat-rated, Michelin-starred restaurants, but some of its best food can be found on the streets.
updated 1:01 AM EST, Tue December 2, 2014
Guide Lebo behind the wheel of Chobe Game Lodge's first electric game viewing vehicle, at Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana ups the eco stakes with what it claims is world's first battery-powered safari fleet.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
updated 8:14 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT