“Real” Barbie

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:

GLAM Laundry

GLAM Laundry

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,

Cristy

I Want to Be A………..

My co-worker and I were talking today about what it must be like to have a job that you just love—a job that you couldn’t wait to wake up to each day, a job that made you look forward to Mondays when you could get back to it. Both of us really like our current jobs, feel lucky to be employed at our present company and really enjoy working with our co-workers and team members, but neither of us would say that we are fulfilling our life’s purpose. At least, I wouldn’t say that.

Admittedly, I haven’t met many people that are employed in either (1) the job of their dreams or (2) in the job that they absolutely love, whether it was what they always wanted to do or not. Most people that I know ended up in their job almost by accident or by default.  They graduated from school, went looking for a job, found one (that they probably thought would be temporary until they figured out what they wanted “to do with their live”), developed skills in that industry, and then stuck to jobs in that industry.  My mom never planned on being a social worker, but when she was looking for a job, a friend helped her get one in the county department of social services, probably she thought until she could find something else, but ended up retiring from the State after 25+ years in the social work business.

When I was little, I wanted to be a famous actress and singer. I knew that I would be loved and adored. I even remember riding in the car with my mom and my sister one night, home from school, wondering how my mom felt about “just being a normal person” and not being a celebrity. At the time, I couldn’t understand how she bore the weight of disappointment that her anonymity must bring (seriously).

Now, of course, I realize the naivety of that dream. Mainly, I was naive to think that I could be a famous actress and singer when I don’t have any talent, especially in the vocal department. But, in all fairness, Barbie never worked for a major home improvement retailer when I dressed her up and made up stories about her, either. There was no Barbie cubicle, complete with overstuffed in-box, whiteboard and coffee ring stains.  There were, however, Barbie stages, Barbie microphones, and lots of Barbie gowns.  The dreams of the young as molded by Mattel….

I think asking young adults to decide what they want to do with their lives at the age of 19 or 20 is ridiculous.  How do they know what they want to do with the next 30 or more years when most young adults haven’t even had to do their own laundry?  And we want them to pick a career?  I think that you shouldn’t have to pick your career until you are around 40.  By then, you’ve (more than likely) grown out of the party non-stop phase, so getting to work at 8 am no longer seems like an impossible feat.  You have learned about yourself during your 30s, coming to understand your skills, likes, dislikes, etc.  Around the age of 40 is when you can wisely make a decision about what to do.  Until this point, everything should all be considered “paying research” to help get to that decision.

If I could choose my career now, I would be one of 4 things:

  1. A soap opera actress (emote a lot and hold a puzzled/mad look for 3 seconds until the camera pans away)
  2. A counselor (though Matt swears that I would get fired the first time that someone didn’t take my advice and I told them how stupid they were being, i.e. “I told you what to do, and if you’re not going to listen, then I’m wasting my time.”  I think he’s being a tad harsh.)
  3. A song lyricist, writing Christian rock songs
  4. A book reviewer (though, being an “instant gratification” kinda girl, I always read the last couple of pages first, so I never have any surprise)

Apparently, I have a little creative streak that I would like to get out.  Luckily, I do have outlets, albeit non-paying ones.  No one sings louder with Third Day in their car then I do.  I seem to be a pretty good listener because I often have people drop by my cube for advice or just to talk.  I am constantly critiquing emails.  There are some days when I act up a storm, i.e. “I believe that is a really great, original idea” or “It’s no one’s fault.”  Gotta sell it when you tell it.

I guess that somehow I have ended up expressing myself, in the smallest ways, doing things that I love.  God is good that way.  But if a television studio ever opens in Statesville, looking for soap opera actresses, I’m all over it.