Barbie- clothes slut or fashion icon?

Ran across this article...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/29/seaworld-barbie_n_7164102.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

So what do you think of Barbie?  Commercialism run amok? (buy me buy me more goodies!!), crippling non obtainable body size and crusher of young girls souls? or funky hip fashon icon for the ages? (who can name who she has worn? how many designers got their start making clothes for her?)

oh, or perinial fag hag for Ken?)

Comments

  • I vote perennial fag hag for Ken.

    I remember an piece in, IIRC, Life magazine in the early 60s about how much stuff there already was for Barbie.  If a little girl got every outfit and all the shoes and the DreamHouse, it would run into some real money.

    My Barbie never had a bunch of outfits, but she did have a cool Land Rover type vehicle my brother made that she could "drive".  My Barbie had adventures in the wide world of the back yard rather than a big wardrobe.  She may have been the original Barbie paleontologist.
  • I remember making Barbie homes with books and drawers (which meant I kept the drawers relatively clean, too!). I actually preferred Skipper because adults were No Fun, and I had to pretend the Barbies weren't grown ups. But Barbie in general proved a wonderful platform for creativity, from designing imaginary (and paper) outfits, playing games, decorating homes, enacting stories, and more). The clothes were fun, but so secondary to everything else.
  • I had a couple of Barbies, much to my mother's horror, but I don't remember being particularly into them. I was more of a teddie bear child.
  • I never had Barbies (being a guy) but still remember when I asked, and got, a roller skating doll (my mother was LIVID) then, to make it worse I tried to cut her hair! (dad was a hairdresser for 25 years).
  • Definitely had Barbies growing up.  I have a closet full of those Holiday Barbies. Well, not full, but I would say 10 of them. The fun was definitely in the play...making houses and a life for them.  I never got anything more than a barbie picnic set and some occasional outfits.  I had 1 Ken doll, and like 2 Ken outfits.  Sometimes I wished I would have kept a lot more of it than I did, but I'm a known lover of purging, so I have kept only the very most sentimental things of my child hood. 

    All my poor Barbies got make up (scribbled on pen/marker/paint) and hair cuts. I have one in my home office that is atrocious, but allllll my dolls got that same treatment. 

    My bestie had me drag out her suitcase full of barbie and barbie clothes when she was still pregnant and we cannot wait until her daughter is old enough to play with them.  I found myself dressing the barbies just in the 20 minutes we were going through it. 

  • @TravelingDesign, I did that to my Barbies too, much to my mom's chagrin! I loved to give my Barbies "makeovers." 
  • I guess I never really had any deep thoughts about Barbie. I always just thought it was fun to make up scenarios (like kiddie soap operas) and swap out clothes. I actually didn't have a single real Ken doll, but I did have two New Kids on the Block dolls and would sometimes borrow my brother's ghostbusters or G.I. Joe dolls so that Barbie could play the role of a super giant.

    Oh, and I just had to post this (can't believe it's on the internet). This came on a VHS tape with my dance club Barbie..Paula Abdul showing how to do the "Barbie"


  • Oh wait, there was a secondary question to this essay.

    Fashion Icon.  I don't see it.  She has always been typically fashioned after women, or careers.  I don't ever remembering want to dress like Barbie. Although, in my child hood she was not scantily clad as she's been known to be from the past decade or so. I also never thought "well Barbie an astronaut, so I can be too!".  Maybe it did for other girls, but that was never my experience in playing with her.  

    My parents were lower middle class, and pretty level headed when it came to buying us stuff.  I only got that Barbie Picnic Set because the most they were willing to spend on her accessories was $15. They knew, it was a phase and one they would not invest in.  

    I think my favorite Barbie I've ever seen was the My Fair Lady at the Ascot Races.  Just gorgeous.  Although, thinking of it now, didn't Bob Mackie do a special Barbie too? That had to be pretty incredible. 
  • I also thought Barbie was a way to let your imagination fly-she could be anything or anyone you wanted her to be. I had tons of barbies and other fashion type dolls. I would literally spend hours decorating her town house, choosing her looks, and making up stories about what her and her friends and "sisters" were doing. I will totally admit to spending many hours in the doll isle looking at new clothes and the latest new thing for my barbie family to do. I had the Sunshine Family and I think a doll called Jody that had her own general store so I would incorporate all their things in Barbie's world too.  Alot of people put down "Barbie" and say she is some awful symbol but to me it was a way to have fun and pretend. There were so many pretty clothes to get, so many professions to try and adventures to go on. Sometimes, I think people/adults lose sight of what importance playtime can be and what just allowing your imagination to soar can be like. I love Barbie stuff the same way I love all pretty and feminine things. 
  • lilanea said:
    I also thought Barbie was a way to let your imagination fly-she could be anything or anyone you wanted her to be. I had tons of barbies and other fashion type dolls. I would literally spend hours decorating her town house, choosing her looks, and making up stories about what her and her friends and "sisters" were doing. I will totally admit to spending many hours in the doll isle looking at new clothes and the latest new thing for my barbie family to do. I had the Sunshine Family and I think a doll called Jody that had her own general store so I would incorporate all their things in Barbie's world too.  Alot of people put down "Barbie" and say she is some awful symbol but to me it was a way to have fun and pretend. There were so many pretty clothes to get, so many professions to try and adventures to go on. Sometimes, I think people/adults lose sight of what importance playtime can be and what just allowing your imagination to soar can be like. I love Barbie stuff the same way I love all pretty and feminine things. 


    I agree. I think adults often try to think too much.( If that makes sense.) Kids just like to play. They don't get all deep they just play. They learn by using their imaginations. Playing Barbie is like you say, with Barbie you can be who and what you want to be. People worry too much. The kids will be fine.

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