Naked Barbie mural near kids play area slammed as sexually inappropriate

Fuming locals in a Brit town have slammed a mural of a naked Barbie figure near a children's play area as "inappropriate".

The huge painting of the nude doll in Pittville Park, Cheltenham, was done by artist Katie Scott who says it is based on her childhood toy and is "meant to evoke happiness and a light hearted chuckle from people".

But some residents have been disturbed by the nude children's toy and are concerned that children might see the image.

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Some people have even written complaints to the Cheltenham Borough Council, Gloucestershire Live reported.

Manchester-based Scott painted the nude doll on the pavilion in the park as part of Cheltenham Paint Festival, which has brightened some of the town's more dreary walls.

She said she was "gutted" to hear that some people reacted negatively to her work.

Some detractors questioned the choice of Barbie lying on her back surrounded by discarded shoes, believing it to imply something sexual.

Katie said: "There's no sexualised intent at all behind the painting. It's all about nostalgia and returning to childhood.

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"As for the comments about the shoes, and the pose. The little plastic shoes Barbie wore were one of my favourite items (the photo was taken of my actual childhood toys) it was a composition I created to recreate the way I would carelessly scatter my toys after playing with them in my bright pink room.

"It's only ever meant to evoke happiness and light hearted chuckle from people, which I'm pretty sure it has done. Plenty of kids were around in the park whilst I was painting too and they all loved it. She is made of plastic after all."

One commenter on Gloucestershire Live defended the image, saying: "The only people sexualising this artwork are those complaining about it. It’s their own insecurities and prudish upbringing that makes them feel embarrassed by such an image.

"I’m sure they would be much happier if Victorian fashion was brought back where the height of excitement was seeing a ladies ankles."

Another added simply: "It's amazing art please leave it alone."

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