Remember back when the most upsetting things about Barbie© were:
a. Were she a real, live person, her proportions would have meant she were anorectic and incapable of standing up.
b. When you were playing with her, you couldn’t make her stand up
c. She had better clothes than you did.
Well, seems like Barbie©has entered into new and to some, more upsetting territory, sexpot territory. Yes, she of the Dream House, the long legs and the nipple-less breasts will soon be sporting fishnets, black leather boots, and a latex-y looking bustier. Ken had better refill his Viagara for Dolls prescription. I mean, neither of them is so young anymore, (Barbie is pushing 50!) and frankly, were it not for all the plastic, she wouldn’t be able to carry an outfit like that off at all.
Some people are shocked by the new S&M styled Barbie©. (In truth, she’s Barbie as Black Canary from DC Comics) But I think she’s just doing what she’s been doing all along. She’s clearly got an eating disorder, so she’s used to pain. Her mammoth breasts (in proportion to the rest of her) have always given her kind of a porn-star look, and let’s face it, what with all the outfits, she’s no stranger to roll play.
In fact, Barbie has been pushing the envelope for years. First, there are those infamously unrealistic proportions, which set up generations of girls for bad body image, then, her never-legalized but enduring relationship with Ken — (who does she think she is, Orpah?), her inability to hold down a job (I mean, flight attendant, doctor, nurse, ballerina — and that’s only in 1975), and finally, her infamous declaration “Math Class is Tough” which set off a firestorm of protest from irate feminists around the globe.
Puh-leaze! Being outraged when Barbie says something damaging to girls is like being shocked when Geroge Bush does something beneficial to oil companies. It’s what they do, people.
So I say – let Barbie be Barbie. She’s always rolled with the times. And ours is a highly sexualized, pregnant at 16 child-star, naked on the cover of Vanity Fair pop-star kind of time. Maybe after she’s done with her little “exploration” she’ll be ready for a new de-sexualized look: Butch Barbie maybe, or Post-Op Trannie Barbie. Hey, Mattel, are you listening? The possibilities are endless.
I’ve never had a Barbie, even as a child, and I don’t plan on buying Sexpot Barbie (not her real name) for my daughter…why introduce her to sexualized plastic beauty before she’s in the double digits? (Oh wait, she’s seen High School Musical…too late!)
But I don’t find this Barbie any more shocking than the others. What would be a shocker is if they came out with Middle Aged Barbie, with sagging breasts made out of rubber instead of hard plastic, varicose veins from wearing heels all those years, age spots from her Malibu days, and a foreclosure notice on her Dream House. That would surprise me. And that might be the only Barbie I’d ever buy.