I was a huge Barbie fan when I was younger. I probably had about 20 Barbie dolls, plus 3 Ken dolls (which, looking back, has eerily foreshadowed the real-life girl to boy ratio). My Barbies had two houses (a smaller “cottage” and a huge dream house with an elevator!). They also had a collection of cars: a red Porsche, a minivan, a yellow VW bug, a pink corvette and a jeep. They had tons of clothes and shoes, too. What a life.
So naturally, as a Barbie-lover, my dream gift was a life-size Barbie. I wanted one so badly. I think it was probably because I didn’t have a sibling at that point in my life and I wanted someone to play with. Apparently my imaginary friend wasn’t cutting it. I desperately wanted that life-sized doll. I had fantasies where I would wake up one morning, go downstairs and the life-sized Barbie would be hanging out in my living room in all her pink and bejeweled glory. It never happened. I never got a life-sized Barbie doll. I suspect my parents were just creeped out by it and didn’t want a doll that was essentially a mannequin in their home.
I know Barbie has gotten a lot of backlash for being a bad role model. She’s really skinny, has big boobs and blonde hair. That’s suspicious enough. And when I was doing research (aka Googling) for this post, I cam across a life-size Barbie that a Hamilton college student created to show what Barbie would look like in real-life – freaky dimensions and all. Apparently should have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe. She would also weight 110 pounds and be 5’9” tall. Check out the photo here, it’s kinda creepy.
I do agree that Barbie does set some realistic standards body-wise for young girls. But personally, I still love Barbara Millicent Roberts (yep, that’s her real name). She had a fabulous life and she could be anything she wanted to be. Her occupations included teacher, vet, doctor, chef, movie star and astronaut, just to name a few. She also proved to everyone that she’s an independent woman when she broke up with Ken. She dated that Australian surfer dude named Blaine before she got back together with Ken. You go Barbie. She may not be the perfect role model, but she did allow little girls to just play and be in a fantasy world. Isn’t that what being a kid’s all about?