Menopause shocked me. How could so many years go by that fast? Even more shocking is that my Barbie would be well into menopause now too. Wow.
I found her under the tree Christmas morning of second grade, along with a bright red case. And Ken!
When I opened the case a few weeks ago, the years vanished. My favorite dress.
Another favorite. When my girls got into Barbies, I noted right away that the Barbie clothes of my generation were better made and more generously cut.
Here’s Barbie’s babysitting apron. I hated babysitting. Not sure the apron influenced me.
I tried my hand at candystriping later on and wasn’t a fan of nursing either. Barbie’s nursing cape and cap didn’t convince me.
And that gets to the point that many argue about the doll: Does Barbie influence girls?. Does her fab figure make young women feel they need the same shape?
I’ve pondered the impression Barbie made on my body image. I wasn’t a kid who was anxious for makeup. Bras. Periods. Perhaps that’s why skinny Barbie and the world she lived in left little mark on me. (But clothes and fashion magazines most likely did, as I’ve faced body/weight issues like most of us have.)
And here’s Ken. I don’t remember giving him much thought in terms of future boyfriends. Cliff though, happens to have a raincoat very much like Ken’s. Does that count?
Barbie and Ken both came with tennis outfits. I ended up loving tennis, so perhaps that’s where Barbie influenced me the most.
Bravo to Mattel for letting Barbie take on a multitude of careers over the years and for introducing Barbies in many ethnicities.
Here’s more news. Time Magazine announced in a recent article: “For 57 years, the world’s most famous doll has been stick thin, setting an unrealistic–and studies show, damaging–beauty standard for generations of young women. That all changed in January (2016) when Mattel, faced with slumping sales, decided to make Barbie look more like the girls who play with her.” Barbie now comes in three new body shapes–petite, tall, and curvy.
My great-aunt and grandma called me “Barbie” when I was little, not because of the doll but because Barbara is my name. That still didn’t make me relate to Barbie any better. I never loved her like I loved my baby dolls. But opening the case a few weeks ago and studying her face, her figure, her clothes and accessories, and her boyfriend Ken made me so happy I saved them all these years. That’s love, isn’t it?
What about you? Were you a Barbie girl? Did she affect your thinking in any way?
Giveaway: I’m giving away a curvy Barbie. For a chance to win, please enter a comment by February 1. The dress is a nod to the sixties. Maybe the shoes are too!