Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“Sigh no more ladies, sigh no more….”


Barbie made her first appearance today in 1959—I was 6.

Barbie—the impossibly proportioned fashion doll. [The doll that set the stage for generations of body issues for young girls? Maybe…..]

I got the second version of Barbie—the one with the “bubble” bouffant ‘do—she was still rockin’ the striped one-piece though.

Then you had to start getting her massive wardrobe. Barbie has always been quite fashion forward, you know. The ultimate, of course, was to have her bridal gown—that cost about $15.00 at the time! [Again—setting little girls up for impossible expectations of what real life is all about. If you didn’t have the ultimate wedding you were nothing. DUH—it’s the marriage that’s the important thing!]

Since we didn’t have a lot of money, my grandmother knitted several ensembles for my Barbie [including a wedding gown, I think]. I had the only granny-looking doll in my hood. God bless Grandmom, she tried. When I was about 12, I learned how to sew and I made a few outfits on my own. They were, um,… interesting….

Also around this time, my crazy older brother decided that my Barbie wasn’t “anatomically correct” and proceeded to take a hammer and a nail and give her nipples.
It still amazes me that I haven’t spent eons in therapy….

Barbie’s empire has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. During my Barbie years, they came out with the Ken doll, her little sister Skipper and the Barbie car—you were the queen bitch of your group if you had that.

I tried to stave off my daughter’s foray into Barbie-dom as long as I could, but once she started kindergarten it was impossible not to let her have one. No, not just one, you had to have several….

And a ton more accoutrements to go with them.

By now Miss B. was into real estate. There was the Barbie townhouse, the Barbie beauty parlor and, of course, the Barbie Dream House. Seriously, Barbie puts Martha Stewart to shame for entreprenurialness.

One of the jobs my daughter had when she was going to college and raising her son was at a low-income day care center in the area. There was one Ken doll and a gazillion Barbie’s. The common scenario apparently was for all of the Barbie’s to be claiming Ken was their baby daddy—ah how times had changed….. My daughter said it was a toddler Jerry Springer Show.
[OMG--now there's a Barbie with a tramp stamp!!]


Welcome to menopause!


  1. ROFL!! I had a disadvantage youth...when Barbie came out my mom said NO! And that was that. No Barbie's for me. But I got several for my granddaughters as well as a ton of clothes, etc. So I had my revenge!! I too got to finally play with Barbie! LOL!

  2. Ha ha ha! My Barbies had nail polish nipples.

  3. I taught myself how to sew making clothes for me Barbie. When I got a little older and got tired of playing with them for the moment, I would put Barbie and Ken together naked so they could 'do it' while I played with something else.