TODAY staff and wire
updated 9:21 a.m. ET, Wed., March. 4, 2009
Barbie could get an unwelcome present for her 50th birthday: outlawed in West Virginia.
A state lawmaker proposed a bill Tuesday to ban sales of the iconic Mattel doll and others like her.
The Barbie Ban Bill, proposed by Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge (D) Lincoln County, says such toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional development.
"I just hate the image that we give to our kids that if you're beautiful, you're beautiful and you don't have to be smart,"
Eldridge told West Virginia news station WOWK.
The delegate concedes that the chances of getting the bill passed are slim, but adds that he stands behind it.
"I knew a lot of people were going to joke about it and poke fun at me," Eldridge said. "I couldn't get anybody to sign on the bill with me but I said I'm still going to introduce it."
A Mattel spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Barbie doll officially turns 50 on March 9, and the toy maker has made big plans this year to mark the anniversary.
Barbie has had her foes over that half-century. Critics say the doll promotes materialism and an unnatural body image.
The bill has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee.