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'Anorexic' doll leaves Swedish parents livid

Rebecca Martin · 19 Oct 2011, 16:45

Published: 19 Oct 2011 16:45 GMT+02:00

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When Marja-Liisa Luther from Umeå, in northern Sweden, took her daughters to Swedish toy chain Barnens Hus last week she was shocked to find a doll skinny enough to make Barbie look overweight on the shelf aimed at girls aged 4-6.

”I couldn't believe my eyes when I picked it up,” Luther told The Local.

Luther grabbed hold of some of the other parents nearby asking them for their opinion and then picked up her phone and snapped a picture of the emaciated doll.

When she got home Luther uploaded the image to Facebook but had no idea how strong the reactions would be.

”It became so much bigger than I had imagined. The picture was shared on Facebook an enormous amount of times and then the papers started calling me and the topic was brought up on TV,” Luther said.

Many parents have been upset about the way the doll looks and how it will potentially influence children.

One comment called the doll "Anorexia Barbie" while others called the doll "sickly".

”I am really pleased people have reacted. It shows that they care about these things,” Luther said.

Luther, who is studying to become a pre-school teacher, is convinced that children are influenced by the toys they play with.

”Kids who play with the doll will identify with it. They might feel that it is natural to be super-skinny and think 'Well, maybe this is the way I should look too',” Luther said.

The doll in question is called Defa Lucy Mermaid Princess and was being retailed in six of the Barnens Hus stores in Sweden.

However, after the media storm the doll was removed from the shelves on Tuesday morning.

”We are going to have a closer look at the doll. I don't think it will go back on the shelf again,” said Thomas Westerdahl of Barnens Hus to newspaper Metro on Wednesday.

He told the paper that two other dolls were removed from the shops as late as April for similar reasons. He also confirmed that the picture had not been airbrushed.

Story continues below…

”It is a miss in our internal screening system. This one shouldn't have made it to the shelves,” he said to Metro.

Luckily, according to Westerdahl, not many of the dolls have been sold.

Marja-Liisa Luther is pleased that the shop has removed the doll from store shelves.

”It looked simply awful. The other dolls are surely skinny enough as it is and this was extreme,” said Luther to The Local.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:31 October 19, 2011 by Svensksmith
When you push the button on the back, does the doll throw up? Pretty disgusting.
17:57 October 19, 2011 by Grokh
Cool now they can do the same to all models =D
18:05 October 19, 2011 by Scansson
Hurry and buy these now, they might be worth alot on eBay.

Also, has this toy manufacture considered making a line of obese dolls as well?

It might be misconstrued as to discriminate against the overweight : )
21:45 October 19, 2011 by jvtx3232
My reaction is: "meh."
22:20 October 19, 2011 by Opinionfool
Is the doll really packaged with her bikini top pushed up and her huge (scaled up) breasts on show?
07:00 October 20, 2011 by Da Goat
next week they will bring out a more sickly one called Defa Kate princess that rushes off to the loo every 5 minutes
08:21 October 20, 2011 by sjuttiosjusköterskorpåsjukhuset
And here in the US Mattel has announced the marketing of a Barbie doll with pink hair, neck and shoulder-to-arm tattoos, dressed in a pirate's skeleton top, leopard leotard, while walking a dog dressed in a cactus covering. The absolute weirdest Barbie doll I have ever seen. Ah, the decadence of this new millenium. No wonder the kids are so confused today.
11:57 October 20, 2011 by Giacomino
Did anyone ask the kids about their views on the doll?
18:08 October 21, 2011 by sissygirl
It is an ugly doll. What girl wants it?
11:00 October 22, 2011 by Opinionfool
Following up my own comment.above at least we know this doll has not been molested under Swedish law.
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