Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I'm Just Sayin' Wednesday - Barbie

So Barbie turned 50 this month. Good for her.

I took a Theory of Female Beauty course when I was in undergrad and we, of course, had a huge section on the phenomenon that is Barbie. If you ever have a chance, you should check out Barbie's Queer Accessories by Erica Rand. It is quite the read.

The one thing I always found interesting about Barbie was that she could be anybody, but only if Mattel approved of that anybody. You can buy Doctor Barbie, Lawyer Barbie, Beach Barbie, Wedding Barbie, and the list goes on. But you will never, ever see Garbage Collector Barbie, Prostitute Barbie, Octo-Mom Barbie... this list goes on even further. I guess Barbie really can’t be anything she wants to be.

One of our assignments for my Female Beauty class was to “Modify a Barbie doll.” Seriously. That’s all the assignment said. So the class went to work. At the end of it all, we had two different Dr. 90210 Barbies; Before and After. We had Homeless Barbie and Nursing Home Barbie. There was “Druggie Debbie” who came complete with a condom and powdery substances in her purse. We even had Kendra, the drag queen. It was a fantastic assignment and a real eye opener.

Personally, I created Body Art Barbie. She has so many tattoos and piercings you can’t decide whether to run away or stare at her. She is the ultimate symbol of female rebellion.

I think our Barbies are way better than Mattel's.

I’m just sayin’.