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    BARBIE Q (&A)
    by Sorcha Blaine
    
    

    I think it's important we get one thing clear about Barbie right off:

    SHE'S A DOLL.

    For quite a while now, Barbie has been the subject of essays commenting on her disproportionate proportions and their effect on girls' self-esteem. She's also been called a bad "role model" because she encourages young females to use their fashion sense more than their common sense.

    So let me state very clearly how I feel about this:

    SHE'S A DOLL.

    Full Disclosure: I played with Barbies and loved it. The high water mark of Barbie-dom for me was when I had eight of them at once, in addition to three Kens. I didn't have the Dream House but I did have a pink dune buggy with psychedelic flowers. Very Scooby-Doo.

    My Barbies had tons of clothes - one I remember was a gold jacket with a real mink collar. All the outfits came with high spike heels that immediately disappeared into the bedroom carpet, only to be rediscovered (ouch!) when you were barefoot. A scientist once calculated that if Barbie were life-size her feet would be too small to support the rest of her body.

    So much for government funding of important research. Hey, Brainiac:

    SHE'S A DOLL.

    How much of a Barbie fan are you?

    I've devised a little quiz. Get out your pink pads and pencils.

    (1.) What is the name of Barbie's best friend?

    (2.) What is the name of Barbie's little sister?

    (3.) What is the hardest piece of clothing to put on a Barbie?

    (4.) What is a "Come as You Are" party?

    (5.) If Barbie were a real human being, what would her measurements be?

    Okay, now the answers:

    (1) [Note: While this reporter was doing her usual thorough job of fact checking prior to publication, she discovered a something disturbing: "Midge", Barbie's former best friend, had disappeared from store shelves. Several stores were checked and all were determined to be 100% Midge-free. When questioned closely about the disappearance of the doll, store employees appeared tense and evasive. This reporter will continue to follow the trail and will keep you posted on any discoveries she makes related to this unsettling development.]

    (2.) Skipper. I never had a Skipper so she's a real puzzle to me. What do you do with a Skipper when you've got a Barbie, for Heaven's sake? My own older sister spent every waking hour devising ways to get rid of me. I can't believe Barbie would want to get stuck with a 12-year-old. (Especially when Ken was going through his "beard" phase.) Maybe Skipper was supposed to be a 12-year-old doll 12-year-old girls could identify with. Or maybe she was there to give parents a non-adult alternative to Barbie. If I were playing with Barbies now, I'd send Skipper on a date with a Justin Timberlake doll ASAP.

    (3.) Leggings/hose/socks/slacks. Anything leg-oriented is IMPOSSIBLE to put on. Barbie's body was mostly hard plastic but her legs were soft rubber. Nothing slid on smoothly. If you put hose on your Barbie, you had to commit to her wearing them for the rest of the day.

    (4.) A bad trick. If you don't know what it is, I'm not going to tell you. If you do know what it is, you should be ashamed of yourself for doing that to your friends.

    (5.) SHE'S A DOLL.

    Scoring:

    1-2 Correct For girls: You need to re-bond with your Barbie-ness. Sink some change in the doll department at K-Mart. For boys: You probably had sisters.

    3-4 Correct

    For girls: You understand. For boys: You were probably abused by your sisters.

    All 5 Correct

    For girls: Wanna play Barbies? For boys: SHE'S A DOLL!

    Have You Seen This Doll?

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