Who can forget that impossibly curvaceous miniature model? The sultry eyes, the blonde bombshell ponytail, the black and white striped one-piece bathing suit that she arrived in.
Only, my Barbie had the red-haired bubble cut. She was different. I have heard my Barbie is rare and therefore, vary valuable. I don’t if that is so or not, but I loved her. I think I still do. I don’t really care about the proper cultural icon stuff. Barbie was part of the times.
Barbie was a clothes horse. We could buy suits, dresses, pants, shorts, wedgie shoes, pumps to match everything and even changes of hats, gloves and jewelry. Each outfit was purchased as a set. I even had a case to carry Barbie and all her fancy paraphernalia. Nobody does that anymore. Barbie stood out.
While Barbie represented some impossible ideal of womanhood (no one, not even Scarlett O’Hara could measure up!), she represented much more to me.
In grade school, eons ago, my best friend, Gloria, and I loved our Barbies together. Gloria lived down the street from me. We carted our Barbies back and forth.
But we thought Barbie deserved more. We collected some large cardboard packing boxes and carefully crafted homes for our Barbies. We cut windows, sewed curtains and stuck them on, painted walls and made furniture. We had Barbies that could sit. Not everybody did.
Gloria was (and still is) a fabulous artist. She figured out how to section the boxes so our Barbies had a bedroom, living room and kitchen. I must admit that Gloria’s Barbie’s home was a little fancier. But my Barbie lived in the same neighborhood, so it worked out.
It’s many years (not telling how many) later now. Gloria and I live far apart, but we keep in touch. We’ve had families, jobs (in real life, not Barbie life) and a lot of grown-up experiences since those Barbie days.
But no matter how Barbie is denounced as the icon no woman can ever emulate (well, that’s certainly true, isn’t it?), I will always remember Barbie with great fondness because of our friendship with Gloria and her Barbie.
I still have my Barbie! AND her wardrobe!
Gloria – soon it MUST be root beer float time, don’t you think?