Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Barbie Gets A Bum Rap...

I really enjoy perusing the New York Times. Some of the random stuff I find mixed in with current events I am so obviously out of touch about really gives me fodder for pondering. Tonight's reading was no exception.

I happened upon a New York Times parenting blog post titled Banning Barbie. The author inquires seasoned parents a way to convince her father that Barbie is definitely not an appropriate toy for her three year old daughter. I guess Barbie isn't the only Mom in need of some how-to's.

Apparently the Mom in question is concerned about the negative body-image Barbie could give her daughter, quite possibly leading to eating disorders in her future. Hmmmm...this calls for some serious pondering...not just your average run-of-the-mill-garden-variety-I'm-talking-out-of-my-hat randomness.

When I was younger, my sister and I played with Barbies... A LOT! We had the Barbie ocean liner, ski slope, camaro, corvette, spa bath, townhouse - and we used it all. Go big or go home was our motto. It wouldn't take long before our Barbies looked like crack-house Barbie you see here, because I would inevitable try to curl their hair with the curling iron. Despite the box indicating hair to comb and style, this never boded well for plastic hair.

Of course, we also had Ken dolls to woo our fair maidens. But just one look and we can see the plain truth...Ken was a wuss. Imagine how lucky Barbie was one Christmas to find a new neighbor moved in:

Tall, dark, and handsome...he had her at hello. You may notice Mr. Vader's cape is missing. This is because it was created from a lovely high-sheen flowing polyester that was quickly absconded as an evening gown for Barbie. I think Bob Mackie may have gotten his Barbie ideas from us, but I don't want to be hatin'.

And it all started with Darth Vader's cape.

While our brother was certainly not pleased to find Barbie smooching Darth Vader, my sister and I would play in our Barbie world for days. We made clothes for her, took her places, and created story lines to bring shame upon the dribble being passed off as children's entertainment today. This was before the days of 24-hour cartoon shows and cell-phone toting tots; push-up bras for 7-12 year olds and make-up for five-year olds. 

We used our imaginations. Oh, and before I forget...neither of us experienced eating disorders. (Believe me...I have never had a problem eating.) And I'm sure the poor body images our New York Times Mom concerns herself with couldn't possibly be coming from the media, technology, and Disney tweens bombarding our girls 24 hours a day.

It must be the Barbie doll.


  1. Hear hear! I loved my Barbies when I was little and I never got an eating disorder or negative self image from playing with them because their dolls!!! I think we know that they aren't real. And you're right, if anything is going to have a negative impact on a girl's body image, it will be real people, not dolls.

  2. I loved my Barbie! I had the Western wear Barbie, and she could wink.
    She was actually kind of a slut...
    But you know what? I wasn't! Because who models their life after A BARBIE?!

  3. I loved my Barbies! And I'm the furthest thing from a Barbie so I say leave Barbie alone. She isn't hurting anyone :)

  4. I loved collecting Barbies, her outfits, her campers, her cars...never had an eating disorder. But if I did, current media, bones on runways and magazines would have been the culprit. Hello?? Love your blog ~ xox Alexandra

  5. Unlike my tortured Barbies, my hair always grew back...

    My favorite Barbie was Superstar Barbie with her big ring, pink (fake) satin evening dress, and the matching pink corvette my dad bought for my 7th birthday.


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