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Last updated at 13:30 BST, Friday, 17 May 2013

Barbie house protest


17 May 2013

Protesters have disrupted the opening a life-size Barbie house in Berlin. The exhibition, which consists of a copy of the popular doll's toy house, has angered some women, who think that Barbie leads to less respect for women.


Steve Evans

burning Barbie


Click to hear the report


It wasn't the opening which the organisers planned. Feminist protesters said the Barbie doll turned women into objects. A semi-naked member of the Femen protest group, had "Life in plastic is not fantastic" written on her bare chest. She set fire to a Barbie doll.

In what the organisers call the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience, a hundred gallons of pink paint were used to decorate the exhibition. The colour provoked a protest from a group called Pink Stinks whose members said there was too much emphasis on becoming more beautiful and on being pretty, and that put an awful lot of pressure on girls.

The other Barbie Dreamhouse, in America, has not been the target of protest. The Berlin version continues until August and then tours Europe. There will be more opportunity for protest - and also for visits by Barbie's countless fans.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



someone who wants equal rights and opportunities for women


things you can see and touch, but are not living


caused a negative reaction (here: that led to a protest)


attention / importance


trying to force, influence or persuade someone to do something (here: to look prettier)


focus / the central point


travels around


very many; too many to count