Barbie In Iran: A Western Plot?

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Police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, part of a decades-long crackdown against "manifestations of Western culture." Host Scott Simon looks at what's being called a "cultural Trojan horse."


This week, Iranian police took Barbie dolls from shelves across the country and closed dozens of toy shops for selling the iconic American glamour doll. Iran's government news agency quoted an unnamed police official as saying that they were confiscating Barbies as "manifestations of Western culture." Well, Barbie manifests a lot in her full figure, clingy gowns, and revealing bathing suits. In 1996, an Iranian government agency called Barbie the wooden horse of Troy with many cultural invading soldiers inside it. Wait until they see her glitter-boots and little red sports car. Barbie, of course, can lead to Ken and Midge, spangly doll shoes, shimmering dresses; all kinds of other Barbie regalia that many little girls just got to have. When Iranian police have apprehended their last Barbie, can they come to our place?

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