I never really had a chance to ban Barbie. The Mattel wonder doll showed up unannounced at my daughter’s 6th birthday party. A few quick rips of ribbon and wrapping paper and there she was in all her plastic glory. Not one to rain on parades or parties, I kept quiet my opinion on the doll. Or, rather, I waited for an opportune moment, one without balloons and birthday cake, when I could fully indoctrinate my kid.
The doll bugged me.
The big hair. The tiny waist. The perpetually pert va-va-voom proportions. In my calm and reassuring post-modern-liberal-feminist-hipster-mom-manner, I explained that Barbie had an unrealistic body. Her proportions were out of whack. Real women weren’t built like that.
“But Mama,” said my wide-eyed kid. “I think she looks just like you.”
By Christmas that pink Barbie DreamHouse was hers!
Seriously, I didn’t worry my daughter would suffer body dysmorphic disorder due to a doll any more than she would turn blue because of a Smurf. But my own relationship with Barbie is complicated.
I am, I’ll admit, jealous of her latest dream house.
Although the winning dollhouse won’t be manufactured, some of the houses are designed as though they could be. One comes in the shape of an architect’s portfolio and unfolds to be built into a chic butterfly roof house complete with spiral staircase and built-in appliances.
Other architects designed for the girl with the bottomless budget. One rendering features a long winding driveway and windows framing a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.
That Babs knows how to live!