Monday, April 19, 2010

Barbie Dolls Revisited...

My friend Sharkbait has a blog carnival called Rainy Monday, where we share an old hardly noticed post of our own, or someone else's (with their permission, of course..)


This is a post of mine from June, 2008.

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Barbie Dolls

If any of you out there loved your Barbie doll more than any other toy, I apologize in advance. You are not going to like this post. I was looking at the videos in my video bar and came across the Barbie doll video, and I was reminded of my dad. When I was a little girl, more than 30 years ago, my dad forbade me to have a Barbie doll because she "looked like a prostitute". I didn't get that at all. There was bridal Barbie, career Barbie, I'm not sure if Malibu Barbie made it out yet, but you know what I mean. I didn't see the turning tricks Barbie anywhere, so I had no idea what he was talking about. As I grew up, I could only assume that he thought she developed an unattainable figure like that because she was up to no good.
Years later, after my dad had already changed his citizenship to Heavenian, I saw a special on 20/20 which traced the origin of the Barbie doll to a doll in Austria in the mid to late 1950's which was based on a cartoon in the newspaper. I know, when we think cartoon characters, we usually think Donald Duck, not Jessica Rabbit. Can you guess what her occupation was? I'll give you a hint: it was a very, very old one. My dad might have been familiar with Austrian pop culture of that time because in 1956 he fled Hungary during the Hungarian revolution.
So when he said she "looked like a prostitute", he wasn't talking about her figure, or the way she was dressed, or the way she was always all over Ken like a spill on my kitchen floor. No, he literally meant she looked like a prostitute character back in Austria. It's amazing how a person can misunderstand a person they are really close to just because they did not ask "what do you mean by that?" It's also amazing that a video of Barbie's dressed kind of provacatively (at least in the beginning part I watched) can remind me of my dad, especially since he changed his citizenship to Heavenian about 15 years ago.
Have a great day! I hope none of you Barbie fans hate me now. It really doesn't bother me that her twin sister was a bad girl. And I'm sure she was faithful to Ken always. Her and G.I. Joe were just friends...
In case any of you are wondering, I am fully healed from not growing up with Barbie dolls. A year ago a friend of mine sent me a sweet little Barbie who happens to have a pet bunny. (If I neglected to say thank you, Katdish, may I say now, thank you? Thank you.)

7 comments:

Wendy said...

What do you think your dad would say about bratz dolls? AAAAAAA!!!

katdish said...

Well you are very welcome. She's not bad, she's just molded that way.

Shark Bait said...

The designer of the Barbie doll, Jack Ryan (who also invented the Tomahawk Cruise missile) was a very strange man, and apparently hearing him talk about "her" was a leetle creepy.

Jingle said...

love the idea,
beautiful post!

Jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/your-comments-touch-my-heart-award/

awards 4 u.

jasonS said...

Great post and excellent thoughts. Misunderstandings are so easy, but they don't have to stay that way. I think of it in the context of church and you definitely see that a lot! People love each other, but those little mishaps can cause such big problems (and most the time it's very sad).

Didn't mean to bring your post down! Thanks Helen. :)

♥ Kathy said...

I knew that the original idea for Barbie came from Barbara Handler's mother but I had no idea that they based the design of the doll on a "working girl". Wow! This was great Helen...it changed how I look at the blonde bombshell :)