Monday, February 15, 2010

My Barbie Meltdown


In my mind's eye, my cousin, Courtney, will always be a little girl. She's in her late 20's now and has a daughter of her own (Skye), so I guess I should get over that...

Anyway, last weekend was her daughter's 5th birthday party. You can't show up to a five-year-old's birthday party empty-handed, so after karate, I hit the stores to find the little lady a gift. Her mom said Barbie dolls were her daughter's newest obsession and my bee-line to the toy department where I promptly found about four shelves of Babies. Trouble was most of them were dressed in skimpy little outfits that only covered about 60 percent of their little plastic bodies. What ever happened to Astronaut or Ph.D. Barbie? There was one "I Wanna Be..." Barbie, but Mattel's idea of what a vet wears (pink pantyhose, a teeny little smock covered with dogs and a head full of big hair) and mine were totally different, I found.

The other issue was that the selection of brown Barbies was pretty slim. Only two Barbies came in shades of brown: one was 1970's Barbie who donned an afro and a red sequined dress (a little girl in the aisle with us thought it was Oprah, LOL); the other was "Candy Barbie" who was dressed in a little pink and blue teddy and carried a fake ice cream cone for some reason. But 1970's Barbie was $35 (!!), which eliminated her from the running with a quickness. I really wanted to get "Happy Birthday Barbie" but they all had straight blond hair and blue eyes. Like me, Skye has not-that-straight black hair and brown eyes. Maybe that sounds a little silly, but when I was her age, all my dolls were blond with blue eyes. I just wanted to make sure I gave little Skye more of a choice than I had.

I must have agonized over which doll to buy for a good 15 minutes or so. When I finally settled on half-naked "Candy Barbie," part of my feminist self died a little, I think. SIGH...

2 comments:

  1. They should rename those toys and market them as Porn Barbie! Sex is being pushed on our children! Disgusting!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The unfortunate reality is that sex sells - even to children (remember, kids emulate what they see; also, adults are doing the buying). Mattel knows that, as does every other manufacturer. Although toys SHOULD be the exception, they aren't.

    Companies that make toys like Barbie and Bratz dolls will tell you they are only catering to what the public wants/has asked for. Perhaps we should be chastising ourselves?

    ReplyDelete

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