Sunday, 1 August 2010

Barbie was my friend

Between my sister and I, we probably had 16 Barbies by the time we were eight. On weekends we would sit in our room and play with our Barbies. Even though we had so many we only played with one as the main Barbie. Oh and we had one Ken as well. One Ken for 16 Barbies. (Doesn't sound absurd in this reality we live in.)

Barbie was launched in 1959 and was created by Ruth Handler. The doll was name after her daughter, Barbara who used to play with paper dolls until her mom went overseas to Europe. The creation of Barbie was influenced by the German doll Bild Lilli.

Barbie made her first appearance at the American International Toy Fair in New York, 09 March 1959. This is also used as Barbie's birthday.
Mattel then acquired the rights from the Bild Lilli doll and began to manufacture Barbies who wore black and white zebra print bathing suits. At first the co-founder of Mattel didn't like the idea of making an toy that would let children fulfill adult roles. Ironically enough, the co-founder of Mattel was Ruth's husband.

First Barbie Commercial

Barbie's Biography

  • Full Name: Barbie Millicent Roberts
  • Marital Status: On and off Relationship with Ken Carson
  • Other Information:
    • Pilot's License
    • Over 40 pets including cats, dogs, horses and a zebra
    • A wide range of cars including convertibles and Jeeps

  • Her CV includes the following careers and jobs:
    • Pilot
    • Flight Attendant
    • Astronuat
    • Doctor
    • Nascar Race Driver
Some people in this crazy world that we live in don't like Barbie because she is perfect. People don't like Barbie because she is perfect ... HELLO she is a doll. Like Woody says to Buzz in Toy Story "You are a toy!". And ladies that is exactly what Barbie is, a toy.

But for me she is more than just a toy. To most people this may sound utterly absurd but she is what I aspire to be. I don't aspire to look like her but I would like to realistically live up to all her 'accomplishments'. She has been an astronaut, doctor, Ambassador for World Peace, firefighter, cheerleader, photographer, computer technician ... need I say more? Is there honestly a need for me to say more. How many women in the world can say that they look fabulous every day and fix computers or save people from fire? Not many people, but Barbie can because she is that great.
As women we are always looking at how other people look and never speaking about their accomplishments.

"She has nice legs"
"She would be hotter if her weave wasn't so cheap"
"I don't understand why people think she's so pretty. She's actually quite average."

I know that girls say this, because I say it too. The same is said about Barbie. "She has a perfect unrealistic neck, waist and breasts." Can we not look at her CV rather.

If we can't look past a doll's so called perfect body and face, how will we ever be able to look past a real woman's appearance and respect her for what she is and what she has become? We need to stop judging the outer Barbie of everyone and start looking at the inner Barbie. It's about time we also judged our own inner Barbie's. Trying to look like someone else is so 2006.

I don't regret playing with Barbie and still wanting to play with Barbie. You could be whoever and whatever you wanted to be. When Ken would leave you for another younger Barbie, you dealt with it, got a new career and took care of your kids. That's the woman I aspire to be.

Barbie as a photographer.

Barbie as a computer technician.

When I have my own daughters, I'm going to make sure that they have more than enough Barbies to play with and I shall only buy one Ken so they know that they can't rely on real life Kens. I know that if I didn't play with Barbie when I was younger I wouldn't have been half as ambitious as I am today. When your favourite toy has been everything a women can be, you want to be the best that you can be.

Thank You Ruth Handler.


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