Barbie doll maker Mattel has been branded irresponsible after the recruitment drive for glamor models as young as 12. The latest racy fashion for the iconic doll has also come under fire, reports the Herald Sun.
A competition run by Mattel in tween magazine Dolly called on girls aged 12 to 16 to take part in a fashion shoot, complete with cosmetic makeover.
Three girls were chosen. The shoot was to promote Mattel's new Barbie Basics clothing range.he Barbie Fashionistas doll range has turned heads, with scant tops and hotpants sold as optional outfits for the dolls.
Child welfare commentator Melinda Tankard Reist said the fashion shoot and racy doll outfits sent the wrong message to girls.
She said 12-year-old girls could not make an informed decision about participating in a modeling competition.
"They don't need to be paraded and put on show for some company's profits," Reist said.
"The Barbie brand teaches girls that makeup and fashion are what counts. This message limits them," she added.
Julie Gale, of Kids Free 2B Kids, said the competition prompted young girls to care too much about appearance.
"Girls' self-esteem fares better when they are not encouraged to focus on fashion, makeup and appearance," she said.