Saturday, November 2, 2013

Reflecting on Barbie Turning 50!

This blog entry is very late, because Barbie turned 50 years old in 2009, but I only came across the "Barbie turning 50" cartoons now.

When Barbie dolls appeared back in oh... fifty-four years ago.... they were very popular and many girls bought her doll plus her boyfriend Ken's doll and their accessories. There were people who loved Barbie and people who disliked Barbie. Enough young girls liked her obviously because they're still making Barbie dolls even now. But I recall feminists attacking the image of Barbie for being too, well, plastic. It was not uncommon to use the word "Barbie" in an insulting way, as when referring to a vacuous pretty woman - "She's like a Barbie!"

But that was what Barbie was all about, tall and thin and blond and vacuous.  Even when they made international versions of Barbie, the dolls were still all about looks. Nothing intellectual about Barbie. Barbie was all about clothes, accessories, dressing right, and looking good.

There's an interesting graph I found below that talks about what would actually happen to a woman with Barbie's proportions:

"Waist - with a 16 inch waist (smaller than her head) Barbie has room for half a liver and a few inches of intestines;
"Neck - with a neck twice as long and six inches thinner than the average woman, Barbie would be incapable of lifting her head;
"Feet - with 6 inch ankles and a child's size 3 foot, and top heavy weight distribution, Barbie would have to walk on all fours"...

What a silly Role Model for young girls, really, but somehow Barbie has been around for 54 years, and it looks like she'll be around for a lot longer.

I wonder what her appeal is.  My own dolls were the crying and walking types, and they were child-sized. I could mother my dolls. But Barbie was not created to be mothered. She was created to be emulated, to encourage strange fantasies in little girls about how they ought to look and behave. No wonder some girls turn out anorectic.

So I find the above cartoons of Barbie funny, and refreshing. The cartoon Barbies have human flaws in them. Her strange elongated figure is gone! She has gained weight, and she has been a victim of Gravity.
And look at the chocolate wrapper beside her, and the popcorn drizzled with butter. Shame on you, Barbie!
I bet you can't roller blade anymore, and what are you going to do with all those clothes and accessories?
And what about your boyfriend Ken, what does he look like now?

If you don't know who Barbie is, click here  and here

Read also
Friendship:  Thanks for the laughs, Marily!
The Schools I attended - St. Theresa's College 
The Schools I attended - UP & Maryknoll
The Schools I attended - UCLA
Miss Philippines crowned Miss World 2013 & More About Filipina Beauty
The Bachelors and Femina Days of Cebu - Memorabilia photos 
Fascinating Faces of the World 
Four Generations of Filipina Women
Mother Goddess Figures: Food for Thought

tags: Barbie turns 50, Barbie, doll, Mattel, girls, toy, women, feminism, aging, beauty

All for now,

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