Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I Miss Barbie.....

There are days when the ultra-pink, super frilly, princess fairy-ness of it all gets to be too much. Today might be one of them, but we'll set aside the flower pet tiara princess fairy with winged horses portion to focus on a standard.


I grew up with Barbie dolls, and had hours of dress up and make believe with them with Sibling-the-Elder. I still have a number of my Barbie dolls, though they don't get quite the playing time they did twenty years ago. My favorite was Betty, probably named after Rosemary Clooney's character in White Christmas because they both had shoulder length blond hair. A discriminating four year old, that was me.

Betty was an astronaut. She had a purple lame spacesuit and tall white heeled boots. She was going to go to the moon.

Though many times Barbie and her friends were off to parties, or riding around on the horse, or being dressed, redressed, and hair done a million ways, she had all kinds of jobs. She could do anything, be anyone. I loved it. You could be beautiful, talented, and you could wear high heels on the moon.

I think we've lost some of that.

Patron Age Almost 4 came in and grabbed some Barbie books this morning, in addition to her usual pile of whichever picture books appeal to her today. She loves Barbie, much the way I did at her age. But she has Barbie in Fairytopia and Barbie and the Diamond Castle. These movies and movie-tie-in books and games, it's all either about Barbie as Fairy or Barbie as Princess. Where's Barbie as Astronaut or Barbie as Secretary of State?? Barbie could still travel, still meet interesting people, still save the world in under 30 minutes, and you could throw in some sparkly Martains with wings for good measure.

I don't have an issue with pink, most of the time. I don't take issue to princess and fairies, usually.

But I wish they'd do something with those movies that didn't only relegate Barbie to an incredibly pink princess or fairy. Barbie's had so many jobs over the years, why are we restricting her to only those imaginary ones? There aren't that many unmarried princes running about Europe (Harry and William aside) and while I'd love to believe in a Dish Fairy, the closest I get to come is the dishwasher.

I'm going to go find Betty.... Might as well shoot for the moon, right?


Anonymous said...

One of the Barbie dolls I picked up for my daughter and kept in the box was a dentist Barbie. Not dental hygienist Barbie, but DENTIST Barbie. It has stayed in the box, in spite of my son's having wanted to get it out because his sister could play with one.

It was actually one of the few true 'lib' versions of Barbie that came out. Which is why I kept it. To remind my daughter -- or sometime in the distant future, her daughter -- that she can do ANYTHING she sets her mind on.

For those who complain that Barbie is anti-feminst -- bosh! She is limited only to your imagination.

"The Director"

Anonymous said...

And then there was Birds Barbie and she was just creepy



Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



HL said...

Thanks Patricia! I'm glad you're enjoying it.