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Play Nail Shop with Barbie's Disembodied Hands

Barbie_totally_nails_stylin_handsAs a parent of a boy, I will admit that my son's toy interests have fallen pretty much in line with gender expectations: trucks, trains, Bionicles, etc. And, you know, that's fine. He's into what he's into. As a woman, and obviously a former little girl, I'm still intrigued in the toys that are targeted to girls. Some of them make me furious, some of them make me wish I was still 8 years old, and some of them just...baffle me.

Which brings me to the...things at left: Barbie Totally Nails Stylin' Hands.

The premise of this toy is pretty simple: the Stylin' Hands come with everything that you need to practice your manicure skills, whether on the hands provided or on yours or a friend's.

I'm not really bothered by the idea behind the toy. You want to play manicurist? Go right ahead. I'm not even particularly concerned about the emphasis on vanity. And, full disclosure, I was just at the nail shop on Saturday where I procured a full set of nails. So, I'm not about to cast acrylic stones from my silk wrap house.

I'm just a little creeped out by the hands. They're just...hands. Sitting there. Waiting for you. Pointing. Like some weird cross between Thing Addams and the hands that the Inventor tried to give to Edward Scissorhands.

And, I know, if you're going to have a manicurist playset, what can you really do? You don't want to create a huge doll to go with the hands because that might even be creepier and wastefully expensive.

Of course, I don't know that the hands are any creepier than the Barbie hair styling head that I had as a kid that was along these lines:


I am, however, concerned about the accuracy of the stylin' nails set. They do a pretty good job of providing nail art, but to really get the full nail shop experience, you need some posters. Any nail shop worth it's top coat has art on the walls and it generally falls along the lines of this stuff:


I wish I could find a picture of the awesome poster that's up in my local nail shop. It's very 80s and is a picture of a woman's hands with long nails, all painted different fluorescent colors, "typing" on a putty-colored keyboard that is not connected to any kind of computer. Behind the keyboard sits a bud vase with two silk roses. It's inexplicable and awesome.

Anyway, my point is, I'm not especially outraged that this toy exists. I'm just puzzled by it.

Related posts: Tini Puppini Make My Head Explodini, The Princess Identity, Guys and Dolls, Her First High Heels, Did the Bratz Dolls Get a Hold of Strawberry Shortcake?

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Accidental Housewife

Have you seen Tattoo Barbie? And no, I'm not kidding...


I gave my niece an Ariel (from the Little Mermaid) styling head like the Barbie one, it CAME with hands like those-actually in the same pose too. She shrieked like a banshee from happiness when she opened the gift. It also overshowdowed the Nintento DS, as well as all the other gifts she got for Christmas.

As a result, all the Christmas pictures have the creepy head (and if you think Barbie's expression is creepy, you should see the Ariel version) in the background.


omg, squee! the malibu barbie dream head! i loved that thing. although i was pretty much hopeless. i just liked to put makeup on her that made her look like a drag queen.


I am terrified.


i guess we have a tendency for our children's toys to imitate adult life. and for sure there a women a plenty who do that to their nails. how they do anything at all with all that nail, i have no idea. but it exists. does not make it any less bizarre. oy.

Sarah Lena

I think you may have stumbled onto a brilliant coffee table book: odd and inexplicable graphic art in nail salons.

I always used to point to one in my shop that had disembodied hands and feet in sand (obviously a beach..? for free-flying extremities..?) with a rainbow behind it. And I'd point it to it and say, "Like that. Square. Not round. Square."

They hated me.

Fraulein N

This is definitely creepy, but no more so than the fake fingers real manicurists practice on. I stumbled across some on eBay and they are free-kay.


When did they slutify the Barbie head? My 4 year-old has been drooling over the Barbie hands. We went to Target and bought her some Lee Press-On Nails for girls. She was thrilled with her $3 "toy" and has since forgotten all about the creepy Barbie hands.

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