Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm a Barbie Girl.

We did an adopt-a-child for Christmas at school...our Family Resource Center Coordinator got a list together of children who would otherwise miss out on Christmas gifts. We were to buy two toys and two outfits. I had a ball shopping for little size 6 girlie clothes, let me tell ya.

And then came the toys...

As a little girl, I loved Barbies. The extent to which you can't imagine. In fact, I was probably in 7th grade before I truly stopped playing with my Barbies. Times were simpler then and we didn't have a lot of technology to entertain us nor all the crap that kids have to deal with today to distract us from staying kids...that's my excuse, anyway.

Needless to say I was really excited to get a a little girl who, along w/Polly Pockets and Bratz, had Barbie on her wish list.

So I head to WalMart to check out the toys. Mind you I haven't shopped for girl toys since my sister was little. Bratz dolls...ick and hideous...even the smaller ones were gawd-awful. But I bought one...after all this wasn't my Christmas list!

Polly Pockets...CUTE cute cute! I couldn't resist buying a set. I don't know if they were around when I was a kid, but I imagined I would have liked those too.

On to Barbies...I was so excited to shop for the perfect Barbie. And then I picked one up. What happened to her? First of all, her head looked enormous to me(not as big as a Bratz, thankfully), and her face just didn't look right. The eyes, the mouth, the make-up, even the hair, it was all wrong. I couldn't buy one. And who designs the clothes for Barbie these days? Hookers R' Us? I walked out of WalMart Barbie-less!

This is an example of a Barbie of my youth...the sweet, normal headed, fluffy haired, toothy grin, lovely Barbie wearing a lovely, modest dress. I guess I was expecting to see this version or something at least near this version of a Barbie. She's Superstar Barbie from 1977 in case you're wondering(she was a favorite and I had the giant size one too). So jump to the weekend when I went shopping again and was determined to get a Barbie for this little girl. Driving for 40min, I had time to think...about Barbie.

What it all boiled down to is that Barbie didn't look like MY Barbies or even the Barbies my sister played with 14 years later. And it's been the mid 90's since I've shopped for a Barbie, so it bugged me to see Barbie looking all 2008. Still, I realized, the Barbies I'd bought for my sis in the late 80's & 90's were a far cry from my 70's Barbies. Of course MY Barbies were a far cry from the Barbies 20 years before me...those Barbies of the 50's & 60's with their weird fuzzy hair and slanty eyes and clothes that would have looked strange to a nine year old in the 70's. Of course when I got older I appreciated the old style of Barbie. I even have several 50's & 60's repros and I adore them, but as a little girl I would have thought "ugly, ugly, ugly".

Barbie, I realized is a gal who changes with the times. She is truly the "It" girl of every decade. And who am I to scoff at her for being able to change with the times? This, I suppose, is what makes Barbie so timeless and so popular.

And the SuperStar Barbie, pictured above...she was a re-do in her heyday. A change from the "old" Barbie of someone else's youth. SO I went into Toy's R Us and spent a good 30 min. in the Barbie aisle. I enjoyed shopping for Barbie this time around and found a fun set that included lots of little outfits. Cause the most fun thing about Barbie is brushing her hair and changing her clothes(even if they are trampy)! I saw Barbie in a whole new light. Actually an old light...the same light I saw her in 30 some odd years ago. She's a girl of the moment and yet she is timeless. And she can do anything she wants to do...drive a pink convertible, live in a town house, have pink hair and wear the latest fashions, be an astronaut, a "TV Chef", a ballerina, or even a teacher. I fell in love all over again.

And Santa...if you are reading this, Superstar Barbie is now a repro and available for purchase. I've been really really good this year and so if you could bring her to me this Christmas, that'd be great!


Amy said...

oh my goodness, barbie, in the late 70's early 80's I had one that had wigs you could put on her head and a swimming pool for her. I thought it was great.

Anonymous said...

How sweet of you all to do that for the kids! And ohhhh I would have soooo much fun in your place! I wasn't allowed Barbies because I kept chewing their hands and feet off LMAO. Barbie has a makeover every so often and she's looking a bit...tarty this thime but for a kid it's all about the accessories.

Angie said...

I love this! You made some wonderful points about the evolution of Barbie. Know what? I'm a Barbie Girl too! I was *thrilled* when Molly was finally of an age that she could start enjoying them. And, then I let her start playing with my old Barbies as soon as she finally started taking care of her own instead of just leaving them around the house naked. LOL

Anonymous said...

Oh boy.
Big Sis is in love with Bratz.
I know. I know. I fought it for years.
We had the talk about how trashy they were, and she finally looked me in the eye and said, Mommy, I'm not gonna dress like that just because I play with them.

Oh. Okay.

Point taken.

I love Barbie, too.

NadineC said...

I was 8 years old when Barbie came out and I got one of the first ones - just like the one in the pic you posted. I still have it, plus 8 others, and every single little shoe, earring, article of clothing, and accessory in a huge box in the closet (no chewing on them like lovestitches, LOL!). I even have the little "brochures" that came with outfits, that showed OTHER outfits you could long for and dream after. I'm totally snowed in here in the PNW...maybe today's the day I take that box out of the closet for some sweet memories.....