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Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Sorry, Barbie

My birthday was fairly quiet this year. What made it truly special were the phone calls I received from the close friends that I hold dear and the wonderful birthday wishes from my Internet friends. Thank you!

March is a time of celebration for many people. In addition to Bruce Willis and Glenn Close, I was humbled to learn that I share my birthday month with a truly iconic girl…Barbie.

During the month that I turned 34, Barbie turned 50. And as much as it pains me to say, I think Barbie is aging better than I am.

So to Barbie, I say happy 50th. And since we're talking: I should probably confess something. In the debate over whether you have objectified women over the years, well, I objectified you.

Let me explain. I had an anti-Barbie mother. Her idea of “fun” was for my brother and I to keep a journal to chronicle the family vacations we took during the summer. To my Mom, Barbie was a symbol from an earlier time, a Stepford wife in waiting.

Sure, Barbie had a lot of professional careers. Over the years, she has been blond and brunette. White, black and Hispanic. Curly-haired and pony-tailed. Barbie's been an item with Ken, and then a single gal looking for love.

She has been an astronaut, a pilot and a flight attendant, a doctor, a nurse and a veterinarian, a NASCAR driver and the driver of a pink Corvette. In 2004, Barbie even ran for president. Her slogan: "Go Vote. Go Run. Go Lead. Go Girl."

Despite my mother’s misgivings, I did have one Barbie. She was a Christmas gift from my great-Aunt that we couldn't return. My sister had a Malibu Skipper, acquired in the same way.

And how did I play with my Barbie? I sent her looking for love. My Barbie got around.

One day, it was He-Man behind the sofa. Then, the next day, she was up and off to see Skeletor. Barbie made out with stuffed animals, hooked up with Hulk Hogan, and stole away for a moment with Boba Fett from Star Wars. Oh, and I'm sorry Boba didn't take his helmet off. He couldn’t.

I'm sure my mom was happy when, soon after we chopped off Barbie's hair to reveal a biker-gang look, my sister and I phased Barbie out. But I don't think she had anything to worry about in the first place. Barbie was never destined to be a permanent member of our household.

So happy birthday, Barbie. And please accept my apology. I hope you don't feel that I didn't respect your desire to be a fighter pilot, a teacher or a doctor.

Unless you had a good time with all that action. Then never mind.

-Francesca
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71 comments:

Kristina P. said...

My Barbies were total sluts too! I really think our Barbies would have been best friends.

seriously? said...

I KNEW IT...Barbie WAS a slut!!!

Becky said...

Poor Boba Fett! I hope he also went on to live a full and happy life...

I wasn't a Barbie gal either. I preferred stuffed animals because I could pummel my younger brother with them. Barbie would have definitely left a mark.

Kathy B! said...

I can understand that Barbie like to get around, but really!! Boba Fett?! She seriously scraped the bottom of the barrel on that one.

Boy Mom said...

My Moms idea of fun was vacation journaling as well, what's up with that? It's probably the only thing I swore I'd never do to my kids that I've actually never done, well, that and green peppers.

Happy Birthday Francesca and happy Birthday Barbie.

dede said...

my Barbie hooked up with He-Man too (until the day my dad took ALL my barbies to the dump - just like he said he would, if I didn't keep them cleaned up!) The only barbies my (4 boys) have are the ones we get in the drive-thru at McDonalds (when I crack myself up by telling the worker that we need 4 GIRL happy meals - really makes the boys mad - hee hee)!

glad you had a nice bday!

SO said...

I only had a few Barbies. My girls? They were like you. They only got them as gifts.

She is the original material girl and I can't stand her.

Jillene said...

First off--Happy late) Birthday!! Sorry that I missed it. I hope that you had a wonderful day!!

Second--Barbie is a slut. She dresses like a street walker but both of my girls are girly girls and love them. I look for the ones that are non-stripper/street walker looking--BTW--they are hard to come by!!

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

Aren't all Barbies total sluts?! We must be living vicariously through them. I mean, who doesn't want to make out with Boba Fett?! And we've all had the biker hair cut at one point or another. Happy Birthday to Barbie! But she'll never be as cool as you....Happy Birthday Francesca!!!

The High Family said...

Isn't it funny that as little girls, we insisted that Barbie needed to hook up?...my barbies had a thing for military men. GI JOE was HAWT!..there's something about a man in uniform! LOL

Happy 50th Birthday Barbie...you look fabulous! And so do you Francesca! :)

blueviolet said...

Not only is Barbie a ho, I think she's addicted to heroin as well. She's frightfully skinny and have you seen those tracks on the backs of her legs?

Kameron said...

I had way too many Barbies to count, but then I had to deal with my brother wanting to use them for ammo when we had fort wars set up in our room. They were more fun as missles anyway!

Tiffany said...

Same here... Barbie was a slut in our house! And then my sister cut off all her hair!

Daisigirl said...

I never got to have a real Barbie. I got the impostor wanna-be from K-mart. My doll (we'll call her Marbie) couldn't bend at the knees like the real Barbie so when I sat her down her legs would jut out to the sides. It was most unlady-like, especially if she was in a dress!

Kailey said...

So funny! I had so many Barbies. I have no idea what happened to all of them.

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

That Barbie, she really got around!!!!!

Barbaloot said...

I never loved Barbies...mostly because the whole world game them to me as presents cuz it was nick-name. Seriously---it got old. And I feel oddly vindicated in knowing someone like Barbie is capable of turning 50.

amanda said...

lol. my ken only got one barbie. that's how i rolled. it was always the same ones. but my sister's ken...different story. one of my barbies and one of her barbies always fought over him. guess her ken was cuter!

Vickie said...

My sister and I had a total of twenty Barbie dolls. It was one big family. Though I had no male action figures. So I made my stuff animals my men.

Deb said...

I'm another one that had Barbie trotting around with every Luke, Joe, and Voltron in the neighborhood... she can handle it.

rightonmom said...

Hahahaha!! We were all such little pervs! The two or three I had saw lots o' action too!

Glad you had a nice bday!

Hillbilly Duhn said...

For starters ~ Happy Birthday~ ...

My poor Barbies I put them through hell and back. I think I had like five or six, all of them got hair cuts, eighties cut clothes designs. They were kind of my victims more then my play toys...poor Barbie, but yes, when I wasn't looking she was totally mackin on GI Joe!

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

I love Barbie. Still do. I have them all in the basement, by my Barbie house, ready and waiting for Emma. I wrote a post a while back about my Barbie Magazines--did you see it?
BTW, thanks for the memories--I had that Barbie with the legwarmers--she was a fave!

Heidi Ashworth said...

You're brilliant!

Kelly Deneen said...

hehe. This totally made me giggle. :)

wenbren explains it all said...

We're the same age! and born on the same month! yeah I love Barbie I had the workout barbie in your picture Hee Hee ! Check out my post She said He said and tell me your honest opinion!

Helene said...

I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only who had a slutty Barbie!! My Barbie was always naked and out looking for a good time.

I'm glad you had a wonderful b-day!!

peewee said...

I hated Barbie. But I sure did want that damn Barbie head where you could do the hair, chop it, and pull it long again. sigh. I never got that toy. So I bought one for my niece last xmas...She LOVED it...But we fought over who got to cut the hair.

Fresh Mommy said...

Haha, that is hilarious... and Happy Belated Birthday to you!!!!

It would seem that Barbie's look are all due to LOTS of PLASTIC surgery... so you're looking great chica!!

:)
~Tabitha~

freshmommyblog.com

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

I'm with Becky -- poor Boba to get so close to a piece and never take off his helmet!

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

BTW, Happy birthday! Hope it was grand.

Kathy said...

Why apologize? She may have been having the time of her life, behind that sofa with Hulk!

First day back from blog-hibernation, so please accept my belated birthday wishes :)

rightonmom said...

Me again. I just tagged you. You're definitely someone I'd love to read interseting things about, :)

Abra said...

Man... all I did with my barbies was do their hair and change their clothes. They never went anywhere or did anything at all!!! Come to think of it... all I do is change my clothes and do my hair, I don't do anything either... hmmmmmm

jennykate77 said...

To say that I had Barbies when I was little is an understatement...I mean I had BARBIES...all sorts of them. A few of mine got around too. I also cut their hair and gave them tattoos. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but I played with Barbies until I was probably 11 or 12. I know. Don't tell.

jennykate77 said...

Oh, and glad you had a good birthday!

joanofalltrades said...

Wow! I didn't know there was a Hooker Barbie. I don't remember owning my onw barbie. I think your mom was right on point with not succombing to the Barbie craze.

Heather said...

I had a few Barbie's, that I just cleaned up for my daughter, and my brother had a Ken. He didn't like to share so much. My Barbie's ended up "experimenting," and hanging out with The Thundercats when I could steal themaway from my brothers!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Happy Birthday to you and Barbie!!! Man, your Barbie had a very exciting life. I was never allowed to have Ken, and I apparently lacked imagination.

Great Post! Barbie really has aged well, hasn't she. There really is something to the whole "platic" thing, isn't there.

Mrs. Nurse Boy

Cindy said...

I loved your feature on A Duck....

Jenni Jiggety said...

Of course she liked it! Barbie has NEEDS...

Vanessa said...

What a hussy.

My mom is always telling me to make sure that I buy my daughter Barbie's that are dressed appropriately. Thanks mom. You gave me ones in string bikini's and slutty gowns.

Bullfrogs & Butterflies Baby said...

Just stopping by to say "hi" and to tell you how often you make me laugh! Thanks for being a bright spot in the bloggy world, Francesca! :)

Grand Pooba said...

Oh yeah, that's my kind of Barbie playin! My friend and I would constantly be getting in trouble for playing with the Barbies naked and hiding their clothes.

I always blamed it on my brother.

mommaof4wife2r said...

barbie sucks...anyone that skinny is just wrong!

Amy said...

Love this post. I think I had the last Barbie you had. I think G.I. Joe came to visit my Barbies also.

AP said...

haha great post!! happy birthday by the way.
barbie... I had lots of them growing up but really don't care for my girls to have them.
something about her just bothers me

BSNC said...

hahaha very funny and happy birthday

funky bag freak said...

I was not a Barbie gal either though my mom tried. My nephews have baby dolls. What's up with that? Being sensitive is one thing but holy crap a baby doll! LOL

lisalyn said...

I loved Barbies when I was a kid and I made sure my daughter (now 26) had a Barbie collection, because I thought Barbie was all it!!

Counselormama said...

As you may or may not know, I was never into Barbie, but my sis was! I laughed so hard reading this! This was great!

Connie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Connie said...

Barbie had all those glittery, floofy, sparkley things... absolute girly magic. And all the boy dolls loved her for it... and her cool accessories.

My Malibu Barbie got around too, but she especially had a thing for our neighbor's GI Joe. Barbie and Joe would play 'dates' then they'd go out on military maneuvers - we thought they'd live happily ever after, until the day they were captured while paratrooping - by guardian of the roof top, dad, who said "Throw them up there one more time and they stay!" He meant it too, and even with "tanning powers", both died of severe skin cancer after a couple weeks exposure to the hot Florida sun.

!!!HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Alicia said...

Francesca..I love your writing!!!

My daughters have never,ever gotten into Barbie at all! I'm so glad!!! Totally overrated if ya ask me!

Julie said...

I had lots of Barbies. I would still play with them now if I had a little girl. My Barbie was FAR from a Stepford Wife!! :)

Stephanie said...

My sister and I had a Barbie village. The Dream House, a McDonalds, a boat house, the spa, campers, etc... They drove around in their Corvettes or 57 Chevy and had huge boxes full of clothes. Our Barbies had it good!

Bee and Rose said...

Whoa! Barbie and Skeletor??? My Barbie had this long affair with my cousin's GI Joe. Barbie kidnapped him and kept him as her love slave for a couple of years.

Jenni said...

Happy birthday (late!) :)

Sarah said...

Love it! In my house, Ken what the ho-daddy. I could have Barbies, but was only allowed one Ken doll - who had sort of an ice-skating type outfit. I'm not sure what that was about. It didn't stop him from sleeping with all my Barbies, Jem, AND Strawberry Shortcake.

It's amazing they all remained friends.

LiLu said...

Oh, my Barbies were WHORES. (Bald-headed whores, after I chopped off all their hair...)

Jo said...

Your Barbie was a ho! Geez. I am glad to hear you had a good birthday though! Yay!

Christie-A Work In Progress said...

Oh Francesca! Skeletor? Seriously was she that desperate or was he just great in the sack? I mean, you dont have to be hot-looking to be a great lover, right? Geez, I hope so or Barbie really is a slut! Glad you had a great birthday, sweets!

Donnetta said...

Barbie was a ho!! I knew it!!! That's why all those babies kept popping up. She "said" they were her sisters!

Happy late birthday!

Donnetta said...

Barbie was a ho!! I knew it!!! That's why all those babies kept popping up. She "said" they were her sisters!

Happy late birthday!

Quiskaeya said...

LOL @ all the slut comments to Barbie! This post just cracked me up! Franscesca you and I could hang out if you came to visit! lol

Mainly a midwife said...

Happy Belated birthday!!
I only had one Barbie but I spent days setting up her house. I haven't encouraged Katie in the Barbie dept. but everyone else in my family has and I've done nothing to dissuade it.
I do have a secret collection of new Military Barbies still in their box. I'm hiding them in the garage. I think it started when I was in the Air Force and I thought it was a cool idea. So I have Navy Barbie, AF Barbie, etc....

TattooedMinivanMom said...

So good to know your Barbie was a slut, the way a good Barbie should be.

And that you're older than me ;)

Happy Birthday!

(P.S. Which email exchange inspired this? The one about ass pinching? I'm pretty sure Barbie's is too tight for that.)

Rachel said...

Happy Birthday! Sorry I am late.

All of my Barbies were tramps! Ken was too. He got around with them all.

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Holy youth sexuality, Batman! Kidding... Barbie got around in our house, too, but never with anything stuffed. :)

Sticky (not too) said...

I missed your birthday, I'm so sorry! Happy Day, Girlfriend!

I have signed up for your feeds AGAIN, and I hope it works this time!

Barbie was cannon fodder in our neighborhood. Her parts were used to illustrate dramatic battles and to hold together dams and various other important GI Joe action...poor Babs. She would have been a slut if we wouldn't have kept killing her off...

Meg said...

I haven't stopped by in a while and it seems I missed your birthday. Happy belated birthday!