P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

22 February 2009

Happy Birthday Doll!-Barbie in Bryant Park

Barbie and I don't speak. We haven't in years! She used to live with me, her clothes and pumps everywhere. My dog would grab her by her hair or swallow her little pink heels, which was often a source of great upset at our house...me for Barbie and her missing shoes which were essential to her "Look", the rest of the family for the dog.

A special day involved a trip to the toy store to buy a new outfit or a new accessory.

Robert Best, Mattel
I designed clothes for her, I dressed her and her friends in only the best and most recent styles and hung them all carefully in her closet on teeny plastic hangers. She traveled with me, packed in her own travel case with the appropriate wardrobe for the trip. She had a life filled with ball gowns, great hair, sunglasses, shoes!! - at 9 years old I could only dream about such a life, and did. Looking back on all those hours buttoning itsy bitsy buttons, I think I have to give Barbie a lot of the credit for inspiring my life long love of fashion, elegant style and beautiful clothes. She was, and is again, every little girl's fashion muse. We did had a lot of fun together,but...

...then I grew up. I became a student of women's history and the impact of popular culture on girl's self image and the development of their self esteem. Barbie became the negative poster girl for the damage that a skinny youth based culture can impose on not only little girls but women of all ages. Playing with Barbies became something that enlightened Moms did not allow their little girls to do despite growing up with her themselves. She became a target and lost her cache. The ideal of perfection, long legs, skinny frame, perfect eyelashes and lips could be seen going hand in hand with the rise in eating disorders, demand for plastic surgery and low self esteem and achievement for girls. Can a toy cause such emotional impact...maybe, but I am ready to make peace with Barbie. Yes, she has in her "life" embodied the "ideal" and that is a dangerous goal for little girls to attempt to achieve. Barbie,however, is a cultural icon whose "life" has reflected our history as women and the changes we have been through and the lives we live today... Quite a load to pin on a 9" piece of plastic, but somehow Barbie has weathered it all and shows no signs of sitting back on her pink sofa and kicking back her pointy heels...and on March 9 Barbara Millicent Roberts(who knew?) turns 50.!

To celebrate this milestone what did Barbie do???-Botox, Lip injections, Lipo...??? NO, instead Barbie hit the runway at New York Fashion Week

Koi Suwannagate

with her own show in Bryant Park. Come Visit The Shopping Bag Chronicles