This is my last word on Barbie, I promise! My daughter and I went to see the Barbie Movie last night. It did not disappoint.
I’ll be totally honest and say, I’ve not been a big fan of Barbie with her disproportionate body and high heeled feet. She has come a long way in the last 20 years though. I see you, Susan B Anthony Barbie on the shelf at Indigo Kids. I even bought my daughter a Chinese New Year Barbie in 2005, the year we brought her home from China.
But, here’s the thing. Barbie is both controversial and nostalgic at the same time.
I played with Barbie a lot when I was young. If memory serves, my Barbie had brown hair. Thank you, mom! I spent many an hour up in my room building a Barbie house out of a cardboard box, decorating it, and dressing & undressing Barbie in all her outfits. Her clothes were hung up on tiny hangars or carefully folded in little drawers. I had a Ken doll who I dressed up too but not nearly as much as Barbie. He was always on the sidelines.
Sometimes my mom would take me to Lil’s Hobby Lobby shop in Thunder Bay. It had the best Barbie clothes probably because no one thought to shop there for Barbie outfits. And, the best birthday present? A homemade Barbie outfit sewn by a friend’s mom. An original, one-of-a-kind designer collectible.
I even had a Barbie-like doll with white hair that I could dye by colouring it with markers. Sometimes she was a garish shade-of-yellow blonde, but most of time she was a brunette.
My Barbie collection was eventually passed down to my nieces who I don’t believe played with them much. And, my daughter, well, she never did play with Chinese Barbie and we eventually gave the doll still in the original box away.
The Barbie Movie is directed by Greta Gerwig. Besides the stereotypical blonde Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, it has a diverse cast including Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Issa Rae, and Rhea Perlman to name a few. The storyline is imaginary play meets real world. I’ll leave it at that in case you haven’t seen it yet.
As a side note, did you know that Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie, also created the first breast prosthetic for women who had undergone mastectomies? Check out this article in Women’s Health.
Of course, I wore my hot pink Lindsay bamboo cardirobe to the movie.
In case you’re interested, I have two Size 1(S), one Size 2(M), and one Size 3(L) left on sale for only $50.
And I’m extending an extra $10 off the $50 sale price of the Carolyn reversible dress in silky blue. Because Barbie can wear blue too! Use the coupon code: BARBIE to get the extra 10 at checkout.
Before I close, I heard this super fun episode on the Jane Hamill Podcast: Barbie Fashion Designer: My NPR Essay. It’s short and sweet, only 7 minutes, and stay tuned until the end for a throwback to Jane and her friends Barbie playing days. It made me lol.
Until next time,
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