Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barbie (or, Yet Another Way I Know I'm Getting Old)

As part of a Christmas angel program, I happened to be shopping the toy department at Target the other day. Have you seen what Barbie is up to lately? It's downright depressing.

I know Barbie is all about fantasy, imagination and visualization for young girls. I was a pretty big Barbie fan myself, back in the day, and my adult wardrobe has never lived up to those early expectations. Not to mention that the turquoise convertible has never materialized.

But really, what kind of selection is this to choose from?

Flight Attendant Barbie:

"Fab Girl" Barbie, whatever that is:

T.V. Chef Barbie:

My friend and I were surprised that the selections were so, for lack of a better word, fluffy. It was Candy Striper Barbie that tipped us over the edge. (I kid you not, although I was unable to find a photo of the modern version of that one.) Where's Nurse Barbie?, we asked. Heck, where's ICU Nurse Barbie? And Surgeon Barbie?

From there we were off on a half-humorous rant: Where's Pilot Barbie? And why does Barbie have to be a t.v. chef? Being a real chef isn't good enough for her? What about Pediatrician Barbie, Judge Barbie, IT Professional Barbie, Fashion Designer Barbie, Event Planner Barbie, Engineer Barbie, Professor Barbie, Small Business Owner Barbie, Investigative Journalist Barbie? Surely there are fantasies that have a little more substance.

There isn't much about this on the internet, and I would be happy to be corrected and told that my issue is with the buyers at Target and not with Barbie herself. My search did turn up an official NASA version of a "Barbie type" doll, who just happens to have a substantial career: Astronaut Barbie.

You go, girl! Maybe when you return to Earth, you can ditch that loser Ken. As far as I can tell from his outfits, all he does is play tennis and hang around the pool.

(photos in this post borrowed without permission from all over the place, alas!)


  1. I am in complete agreement with you. But I didn't know that astronauts had to carry their own luggage aboard the shuttle in a rolling bag!

  2. What on EARTH would barbie wear as an IT professional? They all wear jeans and checked shirts with geeky unwashed hair, no? Then again, barbie is cool enough to haul her own pink luggage to the space shuttle....I'd hate to have that bump into me in free fall....

  3. I agree, IT Professional Barbie would be a stretch. She would definitely have a Starbucks cup and a laptop, for starters. Also perhaps some tattoos and a smoker's cough. Not so much of a role model there.

    I'm sorry, too, that the astronaut accessories are so lame. Why not a pink jetpak and some freeze-dried ice cream?

    Can't help but imagine the "Lisa Nowak" version. Again, not much of a role model, but the accessories would be a lot of fun: wig, pepper spray, trash bags, mallet, knife, rubber tubing, diaper . . . .

  4. Oh, tell me about it. I was looking for a birthday present for a little girl who's friendly with my Oldest and all the Barbies were either skimpily dressed or doing like you said 'fluffy' jobs. Not exactly an ideal role model for a little girl. Which is sad, I loved Barbie when I was little, and I'm sure I had a little teacher Barbie? Am I making that up?

  5. I thought Barbie left Ken for Blaine years ago... or was that just her mid-life crisis, and Ken took her back, since he knew he would never find anyone else to put up with his plastic hair and his other lackings (ahem).

    Wouldn't it be great if they just sold all sorts of outfits so Barbie could be one thing one day and another the next? Why do you have to buy a whole different Barbie?


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