Monday, March 10, 2008

My life without Barbie.

This post is in honor of Barbie's 49th birthday which was just a few days ago. Think they'll start making a Barbie doll that actually looks her age? Sagging boobs, stretch marks, some grey hair, lines around her eyes, etc?

I didn't grow up with Barbie dolls. If I wanted one, I had to pay for it out of my allowance. If you're wondering, yes, I grew up in a feminist home. I do remember having a Bionic Woman doll but can't remember if I got it as a gift from my parents or bought it with my allowance. And I so badly wanted the Donnie and Marie dolls but would only get those when I stopped sucking my thumb. I did eventually stop sucking my thumb, but never got the dolls. I suppose I got over wanting them at that point in my young life. Man, if I had them, I wonder how much they'd go for on Ebay.

During grad school not so long ago, I was a counseling intern at an elementary school. While I was doing my internship, someone donated a doll house to the counseling center. Along with furniture and...Barbie dolls. One time, I gave one of my students the choice to play with whatever she wanted during our 30 minutes together. She chose the house. She made me play Barbie. I hated it. I didn't get into it at all. I couldn't wait for those 30 minutes to be over with.

In honor of big B's birthday, NPR did an audio piece on her. It's very interesting. Click here to hear the audio piece and read an article.


Jennifer said...

I loved Barbie's CLOTHES. I couldn't have cared less about what she looked like. My mom was pretty fem, too, so I don't know how I got away with having a whole collection. But, she did make sure I had a black Barbie, a Hispanic Barbie, etc.
ps. Loved the field study story. I always think it's hard to play with kids, much less something like Barbies. :)

Tanya said...

Oh I loved to play with my barbies. I had endless amounts of them and my friends and I would build elaborate mansions for our Barbies, and our 1 token Ken doll,lol.

Anonymous said...

I was a barbie nut when I was a kid, I had maybe 20 or more plus a tonne of camper vans and houses for them to live in, yet I grew up to be a solid feminist. Then again I do remember making most of my barbies lesbians because of the lack of kens. It's nice to remember I didn't consider gender that much of a big deal when it came to dating!

Once, leaning too far on the heater my five year old butt actually caught on fire. My older sister grabbed the first thing near her, barbie clothes, and put out the fire!

Leslye said...

I actually had the Donny/Marie dolls and I think at this very moment in my parent's house under the upstairs bathroom sink there is a naked Donny doll. I don't know what happened to his clothes or Marie, but he is there. :)

Liz said...

I never played with Barbies as a girl. Or I never played "normal" with them. I had a sister and 2 girl cousins, but we were all tomboys. We had Barbies, but would usually end up dying and cutting their hair, or skinning them. Yes, skinning them. Kind of disturbing now that I think of it.