Thursday, March 10, 2011

Happy Birthday

By Meghan B

She has been everything from a vet to a nurse to a rocket scientist. She has stayed blonde and cheerful and pointy toed for decades.

Yes, it's the birthday of every little girls friend; Barbie. She is 52.

I know the idea of Barbie is often fraught with stereotypes and sometimes considered harmful to young girls, but I have to admit that she brought out the inner geek in me when I was a child.

I doubt many girls use her for her intended purpose. President Barbie does not have UN meetings with other stuffed animals about the state of the toybox economy. Surfer Barbie does not hang ten on her plastic board. They are blank dolls which girls can project anything they like upon.

My favorite use for my Barbies was a game I called French Revolution. One Barbie would be selected to be tried by a group of My Little Ponies for her treachery against France and then beheaded. The trials would be elaborate, with Technicolor miniature mares arguing with each other over the crimes of the helpless (and often tied to doll furniture with hair scrunchies) Barbie.

Every trial ended the same way. Off with her head!

Whenever I saw a movie or TV show that fascinated me, Barbie became the star in my childhood recreations. She saved the universe as Princess Leia or was eaten in a sandbox by a Graboid from Tremors. She became the kid sister of Indiana "Ken Doll" Jones, she ran from a flock of murderous birds and even beat the hell out of a shark in a bathtub.

So for her service to my childhood imagination and burgeoning geekhood, we salute you! May the next 52 years be spent playing the role of Starbuck, Rose Tyler and Emma Frost to a horde of new little geek girls.

Tell us about your own geeky childhood memories of Barbie in the comments!
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1 comment:

  1. Awww, this is so sweet! Mini Meghan sounds adorable.

    Whenever I accidentally popped off the heads of my Barbies, I'd dress her in Irish Barbie's dress (seen here: ) put her head under her arm and run around the house singing a song about Anne Boleyn. "With her head tucked underneath her arm, she walks the bloody tower..."

    Here's the song on youtube.