Thursday, March 11, 2010


I was like every other quintessential little girl in the 70's; I LOVED my 'Barbie'!

The only thing that I have today in Barbie form is an 'I Love Lucy' Barbie my daughter gave me several years ago that I have proudly displayed on my wall unit:

As an adult, I not only still love 'Barbie' and 'Lucy' -- but I'm also a 'Mad Men' nut!

When Mattel decided to mate peoples love of 'Mad Men' and Barbie -- the results were as cataclysmic as horny teenagers in the backseat of a blue Chevy Nova in 1982. Um, okay -- that was specific. Not that I'm talking about ME for heavens sake!

The spawned results of 'Mad Men and 'Barbie':

Since this unveiling today, the media is complaining that Barbie's 'Joan' -- played by the wonderfully curvy Christina Hendricks -- is lacking curves.

As an adult female who not only adored Barbie as a little girl but who as a full fledged woman has struggled with her own curves, I have mixed feelings.

While I think that perhaps Mattel has indeed missed the boat on making Barbie more 'pc' and accessible to all shapes and sizes, like 'Joan' herself, I also feel that they are simply keeping with what has worked for little girls for fifty years: not changing who Barbie is, therefore, keeping her impossibly disproportionate, which is how we always accepted her before.

As a little girl I knew I was imperfect, having Barbie as my companion never solidified nor demystified that for me. She was simply something for me to dress up and for my older sister to cut her hair promising me it would 'grow back'.

I saved up my allowance diligently for Barbie's camper and didn't even mind Ken joining her in there for a 'romp'. The only confusion I had was how they could possibly procreate with Ken having no genitals.

I never paid any attention to Barbie's size until the media started telling me to.

Perhaps the media is doing more harm to starry eyed little girls everywhere than Barbie's size is.

I'm the first one to admit that I don't like it when magazines use size two models in 'plus size' women's catalogues -- but that is my sense of right and wrong, not anyone telling me to think that way.

I am also the first to admit that I think these size zero actresses out there send the way wrong message to young girls. Again, that is ME thinking that -- not anyone telling me to.

Barbie has simply been herself all along. She hasn't changed nor evolved size wise from the time I was little adoring her and her multitude of little sisters and friends (obviously, Barbie's parents had no trouble procreating!)

I say, let little girls everywhere enjoy their Barbie's guilt free and leave well enough alone.

BARBIE TRIVIA: Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.


Steven Anthony said...

Ok, Im probably gonna get bashed for this, but Barbie is a doll...right? Let the doll be the doll and parents teach our little girls how to love themselves, maybe then we will all just let barbie be happy in her dream house;)

Allen said...

I have to agree with steven on this one.

Barbie will always be barbie.

Have Myelin? said...

I loved all my Barbies as a child too. Never paid attention to the disproportions until the media pointed it out as well.

I think it bothers the media more than it bothers little girls.