In Praise of Everyone's Sweetheart: "Barbie"
I want to be up front.
Let's get one thing clear. I love Barbie, not the girl by this name on the classic Hee Haw show, but the doll, Barbie. And to get another thing clear, she is just that. A doll in every way and no one can deny that.
She has perfect hair, eyes, nail, skin, figure, job, life, friends and well, the list is exhaustive. Barbie is the envy of all other dolls who have ever been loved by girls (and sometimes boys) of all ages across the world. What I mean is, can you right now, name just one of the dolls who tried (in vain) to compete with Barbie? I can't. And that settles that. Barbie is the most-enduring doll of all-time. To be honest, there were two dolls, "Chatty Kathy," and "Thumbellina," who worked their fake butts off to stay up with "Barbie," but were soon choking "in her plastic dust."
"Ken" and "Barbie" at the beach.
"Barbie" had it all.
Let's face facts. "Barbie," had "that" enduring-quality of never getting old. Never. No matter the circumstance or trouble, she remained poised, calm, and graceful under fire. A lot of today's female CEO's would love to have those abilities. Especially the one about not aging. Some guys would love to have that one also.
I have to confess that as a male, I used to find "Barbie," the hottest chick on the avenue. No joke. Those pouty red lips, perfectly-designed hair and perfect figure, well, what red-blooded American guy wouldn't find her attractive? I have never shared this fact with anyone. But since I appreciate all of my super-followers, I find that I can trust them. So yes, I used to be fascinated by "Barbie," the "savior" of The Mattel Toy Co.
"Barbie" saved Mattel.
That's true. Economic facts tell the story about Mattel having problems competing in the toy world, so one genius-minded designer, Ruth Handler, came up with "the ideal girl": "Barbie," and from the first time she showed-up on the toy scene, in March 1959, Mattel started grossing in the millions and never looked back. And for all the success she brought Mattel, Inc., she never got cocky and asked people for their praise. "Barbie," has always been a humble girl. And warm to everyone she meets.
"Barbie" meets "Ken".
But "Barbie," had a plan for her life. She accepted that she would not be "the belle of the ball," forever, so one day she met this "doll," named "Ken," and her life changed again. These two were "made" for each other. Literally. "Ken" was the strong, silent type to match "Barbie's" outgoing nature. They loved each other and what was so amazing was that there were many times that they seldom said one word to each other. Some couples would have "thrown in the towel," because of this reason.
Not "Ken" and "Barbie." They went everywhere together. To the beach, shopping, and sometimes took time to appear in the movies to entertain their fans, both girls and boys. You see. Society and its changes worked for "Ken" and "Barbie." It was no longer taboo for young boys to play with "Barbie," while young girls would play with "Ken," and things were great. No friction to contend with.
"Ken" checks-out Fight Club.
Some things can't last.
But one day, some members of a narrow-minded nature spoke-out against this amazing social setting and almost held protests and boycotts of Mattel Toy, Inc., because girls liked "Ken," and boys liked "Barbie." And this was in the late 1960's. If these narrow-minds could have looked way down the road to 2015. And I will just leave that right there.
Incidentally, I have a grandnephew who as a young kid, loved to play with dolls. You should see him now. He stands a rock- solid six-foot, three-inches tall and when he played high school football, he pretty much ran the defensive line. His mother, my niece told me that she "was comfortable," with him playing with dolls for she thought it would help make him respect women more and be a good husband. I hope so. And if her theory is true, I will write a hub promoting this new thinking in child-raising.
Watch me "crash and burn."
In closing, I confess something else. I used to dream of what it would be like to actually date "Barbie." I did. And I am not ashamed. I even had what I was going to say upon meeting her down P.A.T.
"Barbie": "Hi, I'm 'Barbie."
ME: "Hi, I am Ken. And you are a doll."
"Barbie": "Thank you, but this date is over."
ME: "Uhh, why?"
"Barbie": "You are an impostor. You are not 'Ken."
ME: "Yes, I am. Oh, not your . . ."
"Barbie": "Good day."