Earlier this week I wrote about Lucas’ obsession with cars and it got me thinking about my obsessions as a child.
When I was a little girl I used to love playing with Barbies.
My first Barbie was Malibu Skipper (Barbie’s kid sister) and I probably got her for my seventh birthday. It was all downhill from there… I was hooked!
I would spend HOURS making up elaborate story lines for my Barbies based on episodes of Dynasty and Knots Landing. I would fully stage sleep overs, dates, weddings, cat fights and court room dramas.
I would painstakingly handcraft Barbie-sized letters, money, magazines, books and invitations to Barbie and Ken’s elaborate parties.
I’d give each of my Barbie her own unique personality and characteristics, complete with flaws. All important parts of fostering any young girl’s imagination, socialization and development.
My mom and I were always on the hunt for everyday household items that could be used in my Barbie world; toilet paper rolls could be pushed inward and become high chairs for Barbie’s babies, shoe boxes become cars or beds, an empty Morton’s salt container can be transformed into a chair and a jacks box could be used as a suitcase.
At one point I had close to 30 Barbie dolls, including Peaches ‘N Cream Barbie, Loving You Barbie and Day To Night Barbie.
I also had the Barbie 3-story Townhouse with elevator, Sleep ‘n Keep case, which I took everywhere (see below), the camper van, a bubble bath that made real bubbles, Dallas, Barbie’s horse and tons of accessories and clothes. My mother also made a lot of my doll clothes.
Like most of my friends, not quite as Barbie-obsessed as I was, we all lusted after the coveted Barbie Dream House, which for the record, I never got!
My aunt Gail likes to kid me to this day about my relentless begging of her to “play Barbies with me” whenever we visited.
I kept the Sleep ‘N Keep Case and it is filled with all my favorite Barbies, clothes and accessories. I remember my mother telling me how much she wished she had kept her Barbies for me.
Sadly, the case wreaks to high heaven and the dolls hair is matted and the clothes have stiffened and yellowed, but it was fun to show Lucas and relive a very happy part of my childhood until he vehemently asked me to put it all away so that we could go back to parking with his cars. O_o
One of the most common criticisms of Barbie is that she promotes an unrealistic idea of body image for young women, but I also hope that she inspires them. Pretend play is a beautiful thing and Barbie can be and do anything and does it with the utmost grace, not to mention fantastic shoes.
Hard to believe that Barbie made her debut 54 years ago. In fact, on this day, February 13, in 1959 the first Barbie doll went on sale.
Were you as obsessed with Barbies as I was and if you have a daughter, do they play with them?