Mom Uncomfortable With Naked Barbie Bits Crafts Odd DIY Bathing Suit Solution

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Given the rise of Monster High Dolls, Bratz dolls, and so forth, Barbie has slowly dropped in the list of problematic toys — for some parents. But one mother who took issue with Barbie’s nudey dimensions sought a DIY solution that involves nothing more than multi-colored Sharpies. And a flair for bathing suits.

Lauren, as she is identified on her blog “Tutus & tea parties,” has a fairly prominent Pinterest pin floating around that perhaps you have encountered on your DIY craft adventures. She writes that her daughter often disrobed her Barbie dolls to go “swimming” and then left them unclothed. To Lauren, this is irksome:

We got some Barbies handed down to us and while I’m not too fond of Barbies for a 3 year old, I occasionally let her play with them. I don’t like her taking off what little bit of clothing they wear. It just doesn’t look appropriate and it bugs the heck out of me!

Lauren then fashions some Barbie bathing suits for those nudist Barbies, complete with little straps and ties in the back:

DIY barbie bathing suits

She adds:

I must say, it was a little awkward coloring in Barbies hoo-ha…but it had to be done! Now I feel much better when her Barbies are disrobed & ready for a swim. Swim away Barbie, swim away.

While Lauren is met with various praise in the comments section, not everyone is thrilled with her need to cover up Barbie’s “hoo-ha”:



To clarify, Lauren comments that she takes issue not so much with Barbie’s nudity, but her unrealistic proportions….and so that’s what needs covering….?


So some dolls can be naked in this house?


And the conversation just keeps on going, all the way through August. DIY Barbie bathing suits sure are a conversation starter.



  1. Cee

    September 20, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Oh noes ,her daughter may become a lesbian after she sees teh nekkid dolls!!

    My barbies were naked half the time. I also pierced their ears and dyed their hair. They just seemed more comfortable that way.

  2. NicknamesAreDull

    September 20, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I added nipples to my daughter’s dolls. Bare boobies creep me out.

    • Fabel

      September 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Yeah, maybe— if she really was concerned about the lack of realism— she should have added nipples & some labia.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      September 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      I don’t understand what the person meant when she said “We have a lot of naked dolls that show correct body parts that are age appropriate for a 3 year old…” I don’t think my daughter could label a model of a woman, but she knew women had breasts, and the correct terms for things when she was three. I don’t sit down with a Playboy to teach her those things, teaching body parts isn’t sexual.

    • Wendy

      September 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      This totally reminds me of my sister and makes me laugh. My sister had breast cancer and had her breasts removed and then reconstructed. For a while, the nipples were not recreated (she had to heal first before that step). My sister is hilarious and it made her feel a whole lot better to show anyone who requested her Barbie Boobies. Then eventually they recreated nipples for her and an areola tattoo. She is totally fine now and is still awesome!

    • NicknamesAreDull

      September 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Your sister is awesome!

    • Wendy

      September 20, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks! She is pretty cool. They even made her tattoos a bit too dark for her skin tone (she’s really pale) and instead of being upset that it looked weird on her, she thought it was funny.

    • Annie

      September 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      I’ve never thought of that! It must’ve been super weird for her to look at her nipple-less boobs in the mirror, just on an uncanny valley level.

      She sounds really cool :3

    • Wendy

      September 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      Yeah, it’s totally something you don’t think about until it happens. It was weird because they would have kept her old nipples for her…..but they would have had to graft them somewhere else temporarily on her body. That was toooooo funny for her, so she opted to just not save them, and have new ones grafted later. But yes, completely empty breasts are very surreal. It reminds me of the old little Orphan Annie comics with no pupils in the eyes.

    • Annie

      September 20, 2013 at 11:52 pm

      HA! That’s so strange, I wonder where they would’ve been grafted. My first thought is on the butt.

  3. Rachel Sea

    September 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    What an odd hang-up. Drawing on a bathing suit is like telling a stripper to cover up by handing them a tube of liquid latex.

    • Shelly Lloyd

      September 20, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      Best comment ever!

    • NicknamesAreDull

      September 20, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      You would be surprised at how many people would go into the club I worked at and inform me (and the other girls) that we should be more modest.

      Okay, a lap dance is fine, only if I’m wearing sweats (jeans are far too figure hugging) and a turtleneck.

    • Rachel Sea

      September 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      People are weird.

  4. Katie L.

    September 20, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    All Barbies end up naked. It’s like, a law of the universe. Why is she messing with the laws of the universe???

  5. DatNanny

    September 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I think it’s a little silly. For most kids, a naked barbie and a clothed barbie are the same exact thing. But I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with her putting bathing suits on them if she wants. They look cute. Neither a naked barbie or a bathing suit barbie are going to affect this child adversely. How she talks with her daughter about her own body is going to affect her body image, the end. A doll is a doll, dressed in her frilliest holiday gown or with bajingos out to the wind.

    • allisonjayne

      September 20, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      I’m with you. It’s a bit weird, but at least the suits are cute and if it makes her feel better, then what the hell, I don’t think it’ll matter to the kid. Although I’d have made the suits strapless…those straps will look awful when they wear strapless gowns.

      Clearly I’m overthinking this. I’m so torn about Barbie. I played with barbies a lot as a kid, and I think they really influenced my desires to sew/make my own clothes/thrift shop/repurpose stuff/wear interesting clothes because I was always making clothes for them. But yeah, I have a daughter, and I just don’t know what we’ll do if she’s interested in them. My wife is very anti-Barbie.

    • DatNanny

      September 20, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      I’m personally pro-barbie for that reason. I think, like any open-ended toy, they encourage creative thinking. For a child, they are just a prop in imaginative play.

      Of course, I also had barbies when they were still career women, and barbie sets revolved around things like veterinarian barbie, police officer barbie, teacher barbie. I do have a problem with modern barbie being completely about fashion. What are her aspirations? Shopping? Are there ANY dolls with careers out now?

      Still, for a child, a barbie is what they make of it. There’s going to be more imaginative play happening with a few barbies and outfits than a doll that has an elaborate story/character/cartoon to go along with it. As for body image… I really don’t think Barbie has a bit of influence when compared to the example of the adult women in their life, how their body is talked about, and unfortunately, the media and their peers – which I think is the influence we have to watch out for, rather than the dolls they use in creative play.

    • Wendy

      September 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      Love the strapless gown bit 🙂

    • aliceblue

      September 21, 2013 at 3:38 am

      I was thinking the same about v-necked tops.

  6. keelhaulrose

    September 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with a few naked Barbies. I honestly think my daughter sees more female anatomy from when I watch Project Runway than her pile of naked dolls.

  7. Wendy

    September 20, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I don’t mind a naked Barbie at all, I don’t think it’s shameful or anything. But those swimsuits she drew on look pretty damn cute! Like some cool shiny leather thing! I want one! I had no idea Sharpie on a Barbie would shine like that. I kinda want to buy one and draw some tattoos on it now. 🙂

    • NicknamesAreDull

      September 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      I think the idea is really cute, but her reasoning is just weird. If she put a picture up and said “I made swimsuits for my daughter’s Barbies” it would be different than doing it for age appropriateness.

    • Wendy

      September 20, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      I totally agree. But still they look cute as hell….now I wanna get a shiny silver one and draw Barbie a badass pantsuit. I was seriously JUST at the store, and don’t think I didn’t think about it 🙂

  8. Gangle

    September 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Barbie doesn’t have a hoo-ha. Or a vagina.

  9. jendra_berri

    September 20, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    My mom was a social worker and sometimes she took me to work. There was a play room at the centre she worked at with various toys. When I was a child, another girl and I were hanging out in there, waiting for our parents, and found the anatomically correct dolls (Used to help children talk about what may have happened to them).

    Now, we’re talking pubic hair, nipples and testicles and labia. Barbie ain’t got nothin’ on these dolls. I think she’s essentially wearing underwear with the way her crotch is moulded. This mom needs to get a grip.

  10. Annie

    September 20, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    They aren’t really naked-naked though, because they don’t have actual anatomy.

  11. Momma425

    September 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    I could care less about naked Barbie, but I don’t think it is worth arguing about. Who cares a mom doesn’t like to see Barbie naked? It’s her house and her peragotive…that anonymous person who keeps freaking about it needs to calm the heck down. I don’t think any child is going to have a problem with it.

  12. meteor_echo

    September 21, 2013 at 3:04 am

    There is no “hoo-ha”. And people who use cutesy names for their genitals creep me out.

    • Gangle

      September 21, 2013 at 7:33 am

      Everyone say ‘vagina’ ten times. Vagina’s aren’t scary. They don’t have teeth.

    • meteor_echo

      September 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

    • Gangle

      September 21, 2013 at 8:32 am

      LOLZ!!! Scariest vagina EVER!!

    • meteor_echo

      September 21, 2013 at 10:00 am

      That mom’s lucky that Barbie doesn’t come with this.

    • Justme

      September 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm

      WTF. This gif needs to come with a disclaimer.

    • AmazingE

      September 21, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      I only say hoo-ha because if I say vagina I start giggling. Same for penis, for some reason I just can’t stifle the laughter when it comes to either word.

    • meteor_echo

      September 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Whenever I pronounce “hoo-ha”, I start thinking of the “hey-ho” song from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Seriously.

  13. Weirded Out

    September 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Ok, so I read the article and the comments and hadn’t really formed an opinion on the issue..that is until I went to this woman’s blog where she showed a before and after pic where in the before photo she had censored the barbies’ (nonexistent) “bits”. I think thats a little much.

    • Justme

      September 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

      I think the censor bar was more for comedic effect than really to protect the readers from seeing naked Barbie bits.

  14. Sandy

    September 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Jebus. Naked dolls uuuh thats bad! Cant we instead focus on a more important issue; Like how media potrays men and woman, how advertisements got sex smooched all over and how rapeculture is a big issue?

  15. gammachris

    September 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    It must be nice to have a life where that matters enough to get excited about.

  16. Luce UK

    September 21, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    This just made me laugh! What a hoo haa about a bit of sharpie. And they look cool too

  17. Justme

    September 21, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    I don’t really “get” the reason why this mother decided to color swimsuits onto her daughter’s Barbie dolls, but I guess it’s not really for me to “get” because it’s not my child.

    But I also think that some of the commenters on the original article were spot on – this might seem weird to some people but that doesn’t make it wrong and it certainly doesn’t mean people should actively attack and berate this mother for her parenting choice.

    To me, being an open-minded parent means NOT being judgmental and close-minded when people choose to parent their children in a more traditional or conservative manner.

  18. Allen

    September 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    When I was really young, I’d take the clothes off my Barbies and claim that they were wearing “see-through clothes.”

    I think the drawn-on bathing suits are cute, and I don’t think it’s a big deal either way. But I’ve never really agreed with the idea that Barbies are a negative influence. In my experience, most dolls aren’t really that realistic. Even a lot of baby dolls have exaggerated features that most real young babies don’t have (like full heads of hair. Or bright pink lips). Barbies are pretty open-ended as toys. On any given day, mine were more likely to be stranded in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean or surviving a bank robbery than getting married or playing dress-up.

  19. Crowther Amanda-Beth

    December 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I get it would i do it nah. But i can sew here is Christmas oitfits i hand sewed for barbie and her sisters their group shot. After i shot video Christmas special its on youtube its not good. I made them purple biketards Olympics and November when shot special etc is epilepsy awareness mont. Winter Olympics is soon i just dk exactly when. I will make them something new. I habe decide for my crew jan 3rd is barbies 24th bday. Im 28 and don’t care that im weird

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