Growing up, my favorite toys were my Barbie dolls. I had about 5 or 6 different dolls, including one Ken doll. My favorite of my dolls were my Superstar Barbie and my Ballerina Barbie.
Superstar Barbie and her awesome boa
I loved making up stories for my Barbies and dressing her up for dates and for going to work. She had exciting jobs, like being an actress or a famous singer.
I got in trouble once when playing with my Barbies when my mom found me with naked Ken on top of naked Barbie in bed. When asked where I had found this game to play, my reply was that I saw it on Days of Our Lives at my babysitter’s house that day. I was maybe 4 or 5. I think that I had my Barbies taken away for a few days and told that Ken and Barbie should never be unclothed at the same time and Ken should never be on top of Barbie. The beginnings of my neurosis.
I always thought that I would have a daughter with whom I could play with Barbies when I grew up. But I never had children. And my nieces aren’t all that interested in Barbies. My youngest has some Disney fairy dolls, but fairy dolls aren’t Barbies. So my dream of still playing with Barbies has turned into naught.
But every now and then when I am at Wal-Mart, I check out the Barbie aisle, just to see what’s the latest with Barbie and her pals. And over the years, I have seen some changes. Barbies with different skin colors, Barbies with different hair colors and Barbie play sets where Barbie is a doctor or a vet or even an astronaut.
Yesterday, however, I strolled through the Barbie aisle and saw this:
Really, Barbie? Glam Laundry? That’s what you’re offering up to little girls these days? Look how glamorous laundry is? Sexist, lately, Barbie?
So, I’ve been thinking about this. Why, why, Mattel, would you take a seemingly step backwards with Barbie? You gave her a breast reduction so that little girls didn’t think that Triple Ds naturally went with 16″ waists. Great move! You started to give her real careers. Way to go! Now, you put her back into household chores. Shame, shame, shame.
I started to think that maybe Mattel did this because little girls wanted to emulate their mothers and mothers probably do the majority of laundry.
So, Mattel, if you want to show little girls what it’s like to be a woman/mother in the “real” world, here’s some Barbies to create:
1. Sitting In Uncomfortable Chair Through Another Karate / Dance Class Barbie — Barbie comes with a plastic chair and shifts in her chair every 5 minutes trying to get comfortable.
2. Driving Through a Drive-Through On the Way to Another Practice / Soccer Game Barbie — Barbie comes with a car full of kids, pulled up to a drive through, digging in her purse and passing bags of food out
3. Barbie on a Laptop After Everyone Has Gone to Bed Barbie — Barbie is in her pajamas on the sofa while everyone else is asleep, finishing up her work
4. Barbie Being Judged By Other Mothers Barbie — Barbie sits by herself at an event while other Barbies sit together whispering about her, probably because she didn’t hand punch or stamp a birthday card or something else like that
5. Feeling Guilty Barbie — Barbie carries a hundred pound bag of guilt on her back because she feels like she isn’t “doing it all”
6. Buying a Present for the 35th Birthday Party in the Last 3 Months Barbie — Barbie is shopping again for a birthday present for one of her kid’s friend’s birthday party
7. Asking “What would you like for dinner?” Barbie — Barbie asks her family what they would like for dinner, to which they all reply “I don’t care” or “whatever”
This list is not exhaustive, but it should give you a good starting point. Much better than “Glam Laundry”
Your #1 Fan,