Still, I didn’t miss the Doll Goddess. If truth be told, I’m actually the antithesis of Barbie. I wear comfortable clothes, not high-fashion duds, and collect high heels as works of art, not as crippling pedestals for my feet. I can’t remember the last time I went to the salon for a haircut, and I skip manicures — my hands are more often than not in dirt. My daughter and I shared a going away pedicure just before she went to college in August and the last trace of scarlet polish has finally grown to the top of my toes. In my world, makeup, like thong underwear, is only used for celebratory occasions, meaning rarely does the stuff see the light of day.
My course changed after marriage and motherhood in the ‘90s. I had a daughter, and money to buy Barbies. In fact, after mouthing her first word, “mama,” her second was “Barbie.” That’s the God’s honest truth. She had many Barbies, and almost as many of her accoutrements. It took days, a million tiny plastic pieces, and a bottle of Excedrin to put her pink van together, and don't get me started on the house. If there’s a bitch with Barbie, it’s that she’s not environmentally friendly. She’s also bonded to the box with so many twist ties, it takes forever to release her.
My daughter had black Barbies, Barbie cousins, and Barbie dogs and horses. There’s an entire contingent of Holiday Barbies socked away in the attic, new in box. Someday she might have to eBay those pristine Barbies for a house payment or groceries, but so far, she hasn’t had to tap into them.
I credit Barbie for giving my daughter some direction as to feminine pursuits in the areas of fashion sense, nail polish, and stylish hair cuts. She certainly didn’t learn any of that from me, the Anti-Barbie, otherwise known as Barbie’s worst nightmare.
So Happy Birthday, Barbie. For a 50 year old, you’re doing great. You’re sexy, you’re smart, and you earned all those annoying plastic gizmos.