Tag Archives: Barbie

Lookin’ good, sister

On March 9, 1959, the first Barbie doll was introduced, which makes the ol’ gal 52. I too was launched in 1959, later in the year, which makes us the same age.

Over the decades, Barbie’s clothing, hairstyles, accessories and cars have been updated with the times. The only thing about Barbie that hasn’t been updated is, well, Barbie. Granted, Barbie’s waist has been widened in more recent versions of the doll, but that’s about her only visible sign of middle age.

Barbie Turns 52

But for a modest abdominal spread, she’s still the same taut little thing she was 52 years ago. One might say she’s Mattel’s very own Dorian Gray.

If we’re the same age, where are her spider veins, bunions and silver roots? She’s obviously taken good care of herself, but she’s only human. Hasn’t she had kids? She might do more Jazzercise than the average doll, but still, where are the ripples around her c-section scar, or are they hidden under her little Barbie Spanx?

Isn’t it about time Mattel introduced Quinquagenarian Barbie, wearing tiny progressive lenses,  just to give today’s little girls a realistic image of life as it happens? With modern technology, I bet they could tint her face with a bright red glow that flashes on and off throughout the day. Battery-operated fan not included.

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Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Health, Marketing/Advertising/PR

Toy with me

Last weekend my husband and I, sans child, went to see Toy Story 3.

Somehow I managed to miss 1 and 2, even though our son was six when the first one came out; perhaps these were part of a guys’ night out.

Friends and family members who remember what an awful time I had when our son left for college in 2006 made sure I saw Toy Story 3 and that I brought along plenty of Kleenex.  Used every last one.

We weren’t the only childless adults in the theater, which is a testament to this particular series of Pixar animated films and, I dare say, to the therapeutic effect of being surrounded by toys for two hours.

Until we got to the heartbreaking part where Boy leaves Mom, I enjoyed re-living my own childhood through the animated toys. 

I had practically every one of those classic toys.  Those I did not, my brothers or cousins or friends did.  Someone in our family, perhaps grandparents, had the old cymbal-slapping monkey.  My brothers had the See ‘n Say The Farmer Says, as did our son.  I like to think of that one as onomatopoeia machine.  I loved the telephone on wheels that googled its eyes when you pulled it along on its string.  I also had a doll in about as good of shape as Big Baby, abused by love.  I had a few Barbies, but not Metrosexual Ken.  Oh, and who can forget Slinky Dog?

After seeing the movie, I went up to our attic, where a few of our son’s old toys have retired, and to the basement, where the old books and games are, to apologize for sending them there.  I pulled some fire engines off the shelf and rolled them to a make believe emergency–big pileup of Matchbox cars–and paid overdue homage to some other old friends.

One fellow who was never banished to Floors 3 or B was Pippo, a sock monkey named for the series of Helen Oxenbury books we enjoyed so much.  He still lies on our son’s bed, mainly to keep alive the childhood spirit of the room in the absence of our boy, now grown and living out of state.  I suppose Pippo is our Woody.

I think I’ll see if my husband wants to play Candyland tonight.  We can call it a playdate with destiny.

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Filed under Family and Friends, Movies, Television and Radio, Reading