web analytics

Happy birthday, grrl


March 9 is Barbie’s birthday. She’s 57. Lookin’ good (but psssst…I think she’s had some work done).

I suppose you’ve seen the new Fat Barbie. Time magazine did a cover issue on her (subscriber only, but here’s the relevant bit repeated in Slate):

Dockterman watched unattended little girls playing with the doll, presumably through some kind of two-way mirror. In one session, for the pleasure of her peers, a 6-year-old speaks as if she’s the curvy doll. Here’s what she says: “Hello, I’m a fat person, fat, fat, fat.” Later, when an adult arrives, she calls the doll “a little chubbier.” Another child says she doesn’t want to hurt that Barbie’s feelings, so she spells it: “F-A-T.” A Mattel research head told Dockterman that, when adults weren’t in the room, focus-group girls often undressed the curvy dolls and laughed at them.

Of course, Slate being Slate, the message they took away was ZOMG this is why we need curvy Barbie, not don’t use toys for propagandizing; kids see right through you.

I was never much into Barbie qua Barbie, but I absolutely adored miniatures. All those tiny coke bottles and appliances and costumes and sidearms (wait, no…that was GI Joe. Loved his stuff, too). I could not get enough accessories. And, if you recall, you could buy costumes in complete packages, with more tiny thingumbobs.

More Barbie magic: the very first Barbie commercial, 1959; how to make your own zombie Barbie; twenty disturbing special edition Barbies (Tippi-Hedren-pecked-to-death-by-birds Barbie is a must have; reminder that these Barbies are aimed at adult collectors); talking Barbie apparently says “WTF?” over and over. I hear you, girl.

March 9, 2016 — 9:44 pm
Comments: 12