I am supposedly at the beginning of a recovery process. I hope this is true, at the moment I am 10/10 on the pain scale and having trouble breathing. Anyway, I just came across this little gem and thought I’d share it.
Looking at the standard Barbie conjured up a medley of childhood memories for me: I remember strongly the affinity I felt with Barbie because I was also blonde, but the uncomfortable difference I felt because I was short and stocky. I remember arguing with a brunette friend which of us should get to represent herself as the blonde Barbie, her angry insistence that she was blonde. When we look at three year olds, it is hard for us to imagine that they have this kind of interior life, with an ability to self-critique, but they absolutely do.
That’s why it’s important that Barbie is not the norm. As much as I hate the idea that there’s a doll out there called a Brat, at least she is an obviously cartoonish shape, not one that little girls can emulate. What is Barbie if not an idealised aspiration figure?
Apparently the children’s response to this prototype was overwhelmingly positive (of course it was, children don’t deliberately pick out glamorous dolls, they just grow used to them). Still I don’t hold out much hope for an actual production run of these. It would take a big corporation to fund them. Corporations don’t want a doll that satisfies us, they want a doll that always needs a new car, or a new hat or the latest townhouse. That’s how they make their money.