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 4:42 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
From Maastricht to Melbourne, these itineraries make bookish travelers look stylish.
updated 4:58 AM EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
Good cocktails combine with spectacular views across rivers, cityscapes and oceans at these bird-level drinkeries.
updated 2:09 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
A California homeowner's nightmare has become a cautionary tale for those who rent their homes to strangers.
updated 10:26 PM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Cinema loves portraying the lives of expats. Sometimes it gets it right. Sometimes it casts Nick Nolte as a jungle king.
updated 9:17 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Don't be intimidated, says a local expert. Here's how to do China without the hassles
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
When your city has an unenviable reputation for insulting tourists and fleecing them for every cent, inviting hotel guests to pay what they want could be a risky move.
updated 3:10 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
1937 Auto Union V16 Streamliner, Audi Museum, Germany
With factory tours and collections of stunning vintage prototypes, southern Germany is petrolhead paradise.
updated 9:44 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Every tourist destination has a flip side, a season when prices go down and savvy, flexible travelers can score big savings.
updated 3:11 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
A Marrakech lamp bazaar
Morocco's Red City is crammed with stunning gardens, shaded souks and steamy bath houses.
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Santo Stefano Island, Italy
Pristine beaches, unspoiled nature and few tourists -- a stretch on these former penal colonies is no longer a punishment.
updated 5:23 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Life in Joburg can be stressful. Luckily there are some exceedingly non-stressful places close by.
updated 5:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Istanbul skyline
CNN's Ivan Watson pays homage to the city he's called home for the past 12 years.
China notches up another superlative achievement as a Nanjing-based artist creates the world's largest and longest anamorphic painting.
updated 4:02 PM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
In what is undoubtedly the world's "coolest" surf video, photographer Chris Burkhard endures freezing temperatures, blizzards and injury to capture Arctic waves and their riders.
updated 11:39 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one that travels between London and New York. It is the world's busiest route and there are few lengths airlines won't go to in the hopes of getting a piece of the action.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT