Growing up, I lovedlovedloved my Barbies. Especially Totally Hair Barbie, a lovely little lady whom I would grab by her platinum locks and swing around like some sort of blonde medieval torture device. And remember that gigantic Barbie head that sat on the table, ready for you to primp and brush with pink and green makeup? LOVED. Ooh, and my grandparents STILL have the original Barbie in the black-and-white bathing suit, thereby guaranteeing the kind of cushy life for my own children which only a Mattel-inspired inheritance can provide.
I remember sewing outfits onto my Barbies, painting their naked bodies (a true women’s rights advocate in the making), gently encouraging Ken and Barbie make out in my childhood basement, etc. As I got older, I started to hear more about B’s unreal body proportions, about how she would actually Weeble Wobble over and crash if she were a real woman. (5’9”, 36-18-33).
And who doesn’t remember when the Body Shop published this ad?
Let’s talk Barbie (today is her 50th birthday, after all.) Did you have a favorite doll? Did you idolize her, loathe her, or both? Do you think she at all contributed to how your body image developed? Maybe you grew up thinking perfectly round, smooth, nipple-free breasts were the norm. Or that our fingers should be melded together and our pelvises shaped like Ziggy’s nose. If you’re a mom, do you let your daughters play with Barbie? She does love math, after all! Or maybe you just appreciated her for who she was – an 11.5-inch-tall toy fashion doll with dazzling blue eyes and glitzy, fabulous clothing who was just plain fun to play with. Barbie confessions, begin now!