Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's time for Get Real Barbie...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Mattel's vision of Barbie includes the likes of Je Ne Sais Quoi Barbie, Beverly Hills Couture Barbie, Hard Rock Cafe Barbie, Badgley Mischka Bridal Barbie, Cabaret & Wizard of Oz Barbie and if you want a working woman Barbie, there's expensively attired Tyler Wentworth, all of whom would aptly be called Trust Fund Barbies, affluent and impervious to the realities women are facing. If Batman gets reconceived and renewed, shouldn't Mattel update Barbie? I'm proposing they introduce a line of Get Real Barbies.

Little girls still on the success track can choose from Presidential Candidate Barbie, complete with a selection of pantsuits, Justice Barbie Bader Ginsburg in a Supreme Court robe and Secretary of State Barbie, whose hair doesn't move.

Representing a larger group of the population:

Pink slip Barbie would be a surefire hit, familiar to all who've lost their jobs due to downsizing. She has only one outfit, surely not couture, and would be an ideal gift for former Wall Streeters and Starbucks employees.

Katrina Barbie is accompanied by a tiny trailer that contains formaldehyde, rendering it uninhabitable. She's getting support from Habitat for Humanity Barbie, trying to restore New Orleans with a little hammer.

Eco Barbie is in native Northern California dress and vegan Earth Shoes, with a tiny Prius that contains a reusable shopping bag filled with locally grown, pesticide-free produce.

Polygamist Barbies come in a set, all identically dressed in long, pastel, cotton with braided hair piled atop their heads, and one husband.

Dolls of the World Barbie, while available in French and Spanish versions, should be extended. Cambodian Barbie has a tiny t-shirt she's pieced together in a sweatshop and is packaged with the mother she rarely sees as her only work opportunities are in the sex trade in Thailand. African Barbie is HIV positive and has a distended stomach, the result of the hunger crisis. Trafficked Barbie comes from a variety of countries, is locked in a brothel without her passport.

The Politically Correct Barbie line is comprised of Same Sex Marriage Barbie and Bobbie, Adoptive Mom Barbie with her Chinese daughter, In-vitro Mom Barbie, who's 50 years older than her tiny twins and Bob formerly Barbie, who's had surgery to correct her gender.

And for those of us old enough to appreciate her, how about Menopausal Barbie, who's prone to flashes and carries a fan in her tiny, leather satchel bag.