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
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.
SHE'S A DOLL.
How much of a Barbie fan are you?
I've devised a little quiz. Get out your pink pads and
(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
(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
(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.
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.
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!