Remember when it was OK to have an imagination? Remember when you could escape reality and have soooo much fun, without fear of someone — anyone — pulling you back in and popping your happy bubble with “Now, you knowww…that what you just thought of, created, played with — isn’t real…right?!” because they’re afraid our fragile (sarcasm) minds will be warped by what society is screaming at us through whatever toy we’re playing with? Remember that?
That was called childhood, my friends. And, I’m not so sure kids have that anymore. And, it’s not just kids being affected by an overprotective society. It’s Barbie, too. She can’t be herself, either.
She’s had more makeovers than Vicky on Real Housewives of Orange County. Barbie’s most recent makeover is courtesy of illustrator Nickolay Lamm. Lamm created “new” Barbie, based on average measurements of a 19-year-old American woman.
But, really. Changing Barbie to look “more realistic” is completely robbing kids of an imagination. I grew up playing with (not as) Barbie. I made Barbie and Ken fall in love, I made Barbie a fashion designer, a model, a mom, a doctor, a wife, a businesswoman, whatever. And, she always looked good doing it. And…she never stopped smiling.
Throughout all of those years, I never once found myself dwelling on the fact that Barbie didn’t look like me. I had other things to think about/play with/do. (AND SN: can we please stop blaming Barbie for giving young girls/women eating disorders, body image issues and low self-esteem? Barbie isn’t responsible for parenting.)
But hey, like I said on Facebook — since we’re playing around with what’s “average” in America, why don’t we make Ken more realistic too? Maybe base him on the body of the average 19-year-old American man?
Things just got really depressing in the Barbie Townhouse. Oh, I’m sorry. Basement apartment with too-high rent and stained carpeting.