Muslim Barbie Doll

Oct 15th, 2007, in IM Posts, by

Salma, Islamic barbie dolls for Indonesian girls.

In Depok, West Java, Sukmawati Suryaman designs "Salma" (from the Arabic "salamah") dolls, a Muslim variant of the traditional, western, Barbie doll.

The actual dolls are imported from China, while Sukmawati makes the outfits, and by dressing the Salma dolls in Muslim dress, like in jilbab/headscarf and flowing Arab Muslim barbie
style robes, Sukmawati hopes that young girls will not only have fun but also learn important moral lessons. [1]

As this video report explains Sukmawati got the idea for the Muslim barbie dolls after noticing her niece playing with western dolls in revealing, tight clothing, and she worried about the effects of this on the girl's outlook and behaviour, and wondered why Indonesian girls couldn't have dolls that better reflected their culture.


69 Comments on “Muslim Barbie Doll”

Pages: [1] 2 3 »

  1. avatar Ihaknt says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Wouldn’t it be good also, if she makes traditional dresses to teach the niece about INDONESIAN CULTURE, not Arab.

  2. avatar Nataya says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Hang on wait a second…”…better reflected their culture.” REFLECTED THEIR CULTURE? Whose culture exactly are we talking about here? Are these Indonesian forget that if there ever were such thing that is called OUR CULTURE, being an Indonesian then the dress would simply NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE AN ARAB TRADITIONAL outfit? Good grief. Some nation can really lost their identity, can’t they? Whatever happened to the good old gorgeous ‘kebayas’ and ‘baju bodos’ and our other REALLY REFLECT OUR CULTURE outfits? Good grief. Arabs are arabs, people. We, are Indonesian. And somebody should start being proud of our true culture. Not some borrowed culture from another country just because we are practicing the religion. Come on. I too am a Moslem, but I don’t remember reading anything in the Qoran that says, ‘thy should becometh an Arab in the process of practicing Islam.” Seriously.

  3. avatar Sylvester says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    This is a form of Arabisation. Beware.

  4. avatar Raden says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Pls check our villages in Jatiroto along Probolinggo to Jember river, what dress are young Javanese woman dressing beside the river? Are they using jilbab when they are washing their clothing? Do you think our village women who must perform house core in the dirty river are practical performing the job using Arab head to toe jilbab? What is this? This is an invasion of culture & value by ARAB.
    The correct name should be Inem (not Salma Hayek of Antonio Banderas ? wrong name) or Sutijah or Suminem or Saritem wearing batik kebaya with ‘sanggul’ hair style without jilbab.

  5. avatar Foundation One says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    …Sukmawati hopes that young girls will not only have fun but also learn important moral lessons.

    What moral lesson? “You should cover yourself up so you don’t arouse sick psychotic perverts”, or “I am 95% vagina”?

    I’m guessing that doll is bald under its jilbab. Can anyone confirm that?

  6. avatar tomaculum says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 9:26 pm

    I think to picture human is forbidden in Islam??
    Ergo: Sukamawati Suryaman isn’t a good muslima, is she?
    I wait for the unavoidable fatwa against her and her Salma!!! :)

    FPI, where are you?

  7. avatar Sputjam says:
    October 15th, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Muslim this, muslim that.
    The koran did not state that figurines are forbidden. Only statement in the koran regarding the subject was that Solomon’s palace was decorated with beautiful figurines.

  8. avatar Pakmantri says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 12:53 am

    Can you blame Sukmawati Suryaman? Although it is based on an incorrect believe she is just trying to cash in on Indonesian new Arabic-mania. It’s just business, a rather clever one I might say. :))

    Anyway, the real problem is the Indonesian leaders who does not care anymore about the Indonesian cultures. They only care about making more money and getting more votes to stay on top; more votes even if it mean selling Indonesian to Arab culture by politicizing religion.

    We should ask “Kementrian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan” (the ministry of culture and education) for what are we paying them for? They keeps changing the curriculum of the school, specially the history of Indonesia, and make the students all confuse as what it means to be an Indonesian.
    We are moving farther and farther from Sumpah Pemuda, Pancasila and Bhineka Tunggal Ika.

    Tanah air ku Indonesia
    Negeri elok amat ku cinta
    Tanah tumpah darahku yang mulia
    Yang ku puja sepanjang masa
    ……….

  9. avatar HeavenlySword says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 1:28 am

    I think this is purely business.

  10. avatar Hassan says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 1:45 am

    I think this is purely business.

    I agree.

    This is a form of Arabisation. Beware.

    First of all, the Jilbab is not an Arab culture. It’s one of a form of the Muslim dress code for women. If you see Muslimah in the Arab countries, they don’t cover their bodies quite like Indonesian women do: their women’s Jilbab is unlike ours. Hence, the Jilbab is a religious regulation, and not an Arabian culture.

    Secondly, I think this anti-Islamic culture paranoia thingy had gone slightly overboard. It’s just a doll, for crying out loud. And people here are yelling ‘Arabisation’?

    I bet those who cried foul over this doll thing would not say a word about ‘Westernization’ if some Indonesian business men created dolls wearing bikinis and tank tops. One thing for sure, when the Playboy magazine came out, all you guys talked about was ‘free press’ or ‘freedom of expression’ and none mentioned about ‘Westernization’.

    If you want to cry foul about ‘Arabisation’ on the minutest of issues, why don’t we be fair and fight ‘Westernization’ as well? Why? Because a lot of it’s aspects is against Indonesian culture too.

  11. avatar swanny says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 2:50 am

    I whole heartedly agree with everyone that is claiming that this is a massive business scam. since the release of this story I have come across two different Muslim Barbie’s Fulla, Razanne, and now Salma.
    http://www.topblogcontent.com/2007/10/12/muslim-barbie-makes-her-debut/

  12. avatar Foundation One says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 3:34 am

    The biggest problem I have with this Salma doll is the fact that it is claimed to reflect Indonesian culture, when it is actually doing nothing of the sort. That’s not Indonesian clothing, that’s Muslim clothing. It’s not about culture, it’s about religion. Why not call it that, then? Why try to mask it all under the pretense that the Jilbab is “Indonesian”?

    How the heck are you supposed to teach moral values when you can’t even be honest about such blatantly obvious things?

  13. avatar HeavenlySword says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 4:19 am

    Secondly, I think this anti-Islamic culture paranoia thingy had gone slightly overboard. It’s just a doll, for crying out loud. And people here are yelling ‘Arabisation’?

    Lol, I’m totally agree with you Hasan. :)

  14. avatar Janma says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 8:22 am

    I think many people complained about the regular barbie giving a bad message to young girls….. about body image etc…. though the woman who created barbie states she is a feminist and has arguments to refute (can’t remember them now and lazy to look it up) these claims…. but so many people wanted to change the barbie for that reason. it’s not a bout westernization, it’s about commercialization…
    I kind of like the jilbab barbie, it’s cute, don’t know if she still has that impossible body underneath the jilbab though. it would be good if they made one in kebaya and slendang sarung though as well. it is all business though.
    Islam is part of the culture of Indonesia though, so I don’t see why that’s wrong, and islam has it’s roots in Arabia so for sure there will be arabian influence somehow in that…. that’s what culture is, a response in a people to the influences around them. ever changing…. maybe it’s organic?

  15. avatar Bas says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    “Are these Indonesian forget that if there ever were such thing that is called OUR CULTURE, being an Indonesian then the dress would simply NOT GOING TO LOOK LIKE AN ARAB TRADITIONAL outfit?”

    Yes they do. More than you can imagine. Now I met Javanese women who tell me:

    “Sorry, I cannot hang out alone, I can only go out with a relative… well.. you know… Indonesian culture…”.

  16. avatar Dimp says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Just another way to score some easy money on the gullibility of Indonesians.

    Anyone want to invest in my plan to sell some “Islamic” air? I have noticed that some of the air in Jakarta and other parts in Indonesia has been polluted by westerners breathing in the same area, with this I have started bottling some air from parts of Indonesia that have not been visited by westerners, and only moslems have breathed this air.

  17. avatar Foundation One says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 6:23 pm

    Just another way to score some easy money on the gullibility of Indonesians.

    I think you forgot to mention “nationalism”, “religious fanaticism”, and “in-group mentality”, to name a few.

    Islam is part of the culture of Indonesia though, so I don’t see why that’s wrong, and islam has it’s roots in Arabia so for sure there will be arabian influence somehow in that”¦. that’s what culture is, a response in a people to the influences around them. ever changing”¦.

    I see what you mean, Janma, but the problem is that statements such as that made by the doll’s creator are little more than unjustified generalizations. Take this for example:

    … in revealing, tight clothing…

    What about the traditional Papuan dress? I dare her to call that anything else than revealing — and yet that is part of Indonesian culture too. As for tight, doesn’t the kebaya also emphasize a woman’s body shape? However, it, too, is a part of Indonesian culture. In short, Islam is but a part of Indonesian culture, but statements like the above… I think you get what I mean.

    Calling everything that is “revealing and tight” as “Western” and all else as “Indonesian culture” is not only a mistake, it’s a blatant lie. Unfortunately, as Dimp has pointed out, such simple-minded, bigoted views are probably going to latch on to many gullible people… poor fools.

  18. avatar Janma says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    What about the traditional Papuan dress? I dare her to call that anything else than revealing “” and yet that is part of Indonesian culture too. As for tight, doesn’t the kebaya also emphasize a woman’s body shape? However, it, too, is a part of Indonesian culture. In short, Islam is but a part of Indonesian culture, but statements like the above”¦ I think you get what I mean.

    Calling everything that is “revealing and tight” as “Western” and all else as “Indonesian culture” is not only a mistake, it’s a blatant lie. Unfortunately, as Dimp has pointed out, such simple-minded, bigoted views are probably going to latch on to many gullible people”¦ poor fools.

    Of course you are right, it’s wrong in the way they state it… and it’s annoying too. revealing dress is not really anything to do with western values at all… and not all westerner women like to wear revealing clothes. Tahitians, Hawaiians, Africans, Papuans and many other cultures don’t feel the need to hide their women behind bundles of cloth. It’s all about generalizations, statements like that… but in another way so is the statement that the jilbab is only about Arabic culture.
    I can see that this is a money making venture, but I also don’t see that as wrong, Business is commercial by it’s very nature, and finding ways to make money is not wrong is it? Is it a scam necessarily to make a barbie in a jilbab? not in itself, but it’s a sly and annoying ploy to make out that it’s about morality.

  19. avatar Peter says:
    October 16th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    What moral lesson? “You should cover yourself up so you don’t arouse sick psychotic perverts”, or “I am 95% vagina”?

    - Foundation One

    Ya saya suka gimana kamu sudah berkata itu.. Well put.

    Making women cover themselves reflects just this attitude that they are “95% Vagina”, and furthermore, that their nature is somehow unclean or impure. There are some beautiful things in Islam but I think its attitude towards women and sexuality in general is quite primitive and misogynistic.

    Of all religions, I’d say Buddhism probably takes the most mature and realistic stance toward sexuality. It doesn’t try to repress it or ignore it, but it teaches people how to deal with their reaction to it so that it does not become a problem. Repression only makes it stronger and more taboo, to the point where people become aroused my the mere sight of an exposed forearm or ankle. The problem is not women or sexuality, but rather our inability to control our reaction to it.

  20. avatar emuh says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    How come doll can determine one’s future….the way of thinking the doll maker-sukmawati- is very misleading. Why you just tell us frankly that you create taht stupid doll to get money as capitalist do. Comercialization religion is not uncommon now.

  21. avatar Hassan says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Using the Papua analogy to divert the case is appalling. Obviously those kids and women who wore tank tops, miniskirts, and transparent clothings on the malls or cafes didn’t copy their dressing style from the Papuans. That is not how Indonesian girls or women dress a decade ago, for example. Kissing in public is taboo a while back and now it’s common, tell me, was that Arabian influence? Their style and attitude was obviously influenced by Western culture, whoever said otherwise is either biased and permissive, or a hypocrit.

    I mean if we’re going to abandon our own heritage and identity, why say no to Arabian identity but welcome Western identity? If we want to be consistent, reject both or welcome both.

    Making women cover themselves reflects just this attitude that they are “95% Vagina”

    How about if the Muslim women actually thinks that they are more dignified and not judged merely by her physique by wearing the Jilbab. Moreover, they felt safer from harassment (the ‘hey, I’m not that kind of girl’ signal), more at peace within, and most importantly it made them felt that their true identity is not their body, but their brain and attitude.

    What you said about Muslims consider women being 95% vagina thing is just your presumption and is a sex oriented prejudice (that Muslim men are all about lust and sex), while what I said was actually some of the answers I got from my Jilbab-wearing Muslimah friends.

  22. avatar Oigal says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    “That is not how Indonesian girls or women dress a decade ago, for example.” Bugger I must have been living in a different Indonesia a decade ago..dang travel agents.

    by wearing the Jilbab.Moreover, they felt safer from harassment (the ‘hey, I’m not that kind of girl’ signal), more at peace within, and most importantly it made them felt that their true identity is not their body, but their brain and attitude

    Actually half right Hassan, a significant number of Indonesian women do wear the jilbab to reduce harrassment mainly from the insecure, immature little men whose sole stunted interaction with women is their relationship with mommy.

  23. avatar Janma says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 7:27 pm

    Actually alot of the girls also wear it so they fit in nowadays, so they don’t get harassed also by other jilbab wearing women who judge them. They wear the jilbab with tight jeans and shirts, so I’m not sure what it’s really about.
    Sadly though it is true, it’s due to men and their disrespect of women. they think women who wear revealing clothes deserve or are asking to be raped, do you think that Hassan?

  24. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    The fatwa re Barbie dolls

    “¢ All Barbie dolls not wearing jilbab are to be taken out of business.
    “¢ Barbie dolls caught outside not wearing proper muslimah dress will be spray-painted Aceh-style by the Wilayatul Hisbah or the FPI.
    “¢ Naughty Barbie dolls may be beaten (lightly, with a toothbrush or so).
    “¢ Boys playing with Barbie dolls will be caned.
    “¢ Barbie dolls left outside after dark in Tangerang will be jailed.

    Repent.

  25. avatar HeavenlySword says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Just another way to score some easy money on the gullibility of Indonesians.

    Well, I don’t see what’s wrong with selling those dolls anyway. It’s a legit business. I’d do it too if I had that opportunity.

    I think for whatever reasons they wear jilbab it’s not our concern. Although I admit I have a few questions when I see women doing outdoor sport activities with their jilbab on.

  26. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 12:12 am

    Hassan said

    How about if the Muslim women actually thinks that they are more dignified and not judged merely by her physique by wearing the Jilbab. Moreover, they felt safer from harassment (the ‘hey, I’m not that kind of girl’ signal), more at peace within, and most importantly it made them felt that their true identity is not their body, but their brain and attitude.

    So Balinese Hindu women are
    - less dignified
    - prone to harassment
    - less at peace within
    - more body than brain and attitude

    Hello, Balinese ladies, I hope you read this. Feel free to comment.

    Majapahit will rule again. Merdeka!

  27. avatar HeavenlySword says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 6:54 am

    Hassan said

    How about if the Muslim women actually thinks that they are more dignified and not judged merely by her physique by wearing the Jilbab. Moreover, they felt safer from harassment (the ‘hey, I’m not that kind of girl’ signal), more at peace within, and most importantly it made them felt that their true identity is not their body, but their brain and attitude.

    So Balinese Hindu women are
    - less dignified
    - prone to harassment
    - less at peace within
    - more body than brain and attitude

    Hello, Balinese ladies, I hope you read this. Feel free to comment.

    Majapahit will rule again. Merdeka!

    You took it the wrong way.
    I don’t think Hassan meant that way. Put it this way.. I’d feel more confident by wearing a certain brand, in this case Abercrombie & Fittch. I’d feel cooler and more over it’s a chick magnet :)

    He didn’t make a comparison, he just said by wearing a jilbab women might feel more dignified. I don’t think there’s something wrong with that statement.

  28. avatar HeavenlySword says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 6:57 am

    oops, I meant.. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Hassan’s statement. You just took it the wrong way :)

  29. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 7:00 am

    Do they have one of the Muslim blow-up doll varieties ?

  30. avatar Ihaknt says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 11:09 am

    Heavenlysword, the opportunity is still there, just make actual traditional Indonesian dresses from each province for the dolls to reflect OUR Indonesian culture. Go on, start sewing!

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