Several years ago, a friend who was getting married for the second time happened to have a fascination with Barbie. Maybe it was a hobby or a whimsy or a fetish, whatever you call it when an adult collects Barbie stuff. You know Barbie. Everyone knows Barbie, the doll that has been around since 1959, Mattell’s weird ideal of the perfect girl/woman that no living female could ever achieve.
We know she’s not real
The internet is full of articles about Barbie’s unrealistic, absurd form. Some fun facts I found:
- If Barbie were a real woman, her head would be the same circumference as her waist, meaning she’d have room for only half a liver and a few inches of intestines, as opposed to the usual 26 feet. The result: chronic diarrhea and death from malabsorption & malnutrition.
- Because Barbie’s neck is twice as long as the average human’s, it would be impossible for her to hold up her head. Her legs are 50 percent longer than her arms, while the average woman’s legs are only 20 percent longer than her arms. She’d also have to walk on all fours because her feet are so disproportionately small that her chest would pull her forward onto her toes and she’d fall over.
We don’t care!
Despite this, many girls, and I guess some grown women like my friend, are Barbie aficionados. We love her anyway! So, when I was invited to my friend’s bridal shower, as the ardent feminist that I am, I thought I’d have some fun with this. Thinking about Barbie’s “perfect” life and how she would have a “perfect” wedding, I wrote a story for my friend called What Would Barbie Do?.
I dressed up in all the pink things I could find in my wardrobe, including a pink wig, to read the story out loud to the guests. I showed them the pictures along the way, much like kindergarten teachers do. It was great fun!! I share it here for your entertainment.
She’s come a long way, but…
Luckily, real women have evolved in our society since 1959 and Barbie has also progressed. She joined the work force, has had many power careers (astronaut! CEO!), now embraces diversity and drag, even runs for president. But…some things haven’t changed, as my story revealed. Yes, it’s a sad situation. There could be several morals to this tale:
- Be careful what you wish for.
- The grass isn’t always greener.
- Aren’t you glad you’re NOT like Barbie?