Happy Birthday Barbie?

Barbie turned 55 this week. I’m not sure if I’ll send a card to her. We were really never the best of friends. She appeared in my house along with a friend or two but we just didn’t connect. Perhaps I was too busy riding my banana seat bike and getting my jeans muddy to notice her. She just didn’t grab my interest, and she certainly couldn’t compete against my play organ/piano (which rocked!).

Then I became the mom of boys. The only time a Barbie crosses my path, we are shopping for a birthday gift for a girl. We walk the Target isle full of these dolls but feel like we’ve been transported to another dimension. Then we head in a different direction and find the birthday girl a craft kit or something because I just can’t bring myself to buy a Barbie! (Although Tinkerbell will sneak in there once in a while.)

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One of my friends says her daughters get Barbies as gifts… but that they fall into two camps. The first camp of Barbies are still dressed to the hill, glamorous and can seem a bit silly to a grown up. And then there are the “Slutty Barbies” — the dolls that are dressed a bit too provocatively and grown-up to the point that many moms will raise their eyebrows.

I know Mattel has worked hard on creating a brand that encourages girls to dream big. Over the years, Barbie has been busy. She’s been a veterinarian, registered nurse, astronaut and even American Idol contestant. But I still can’t stop thinking of Barbie as a bouffant blond who spends more time at the bar trying to look sexy and pick up guys than she does investing in her career.

Barbie visited our house once for a weekend. My son chose the movie Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus to bring home from the library. It had all of the stereotypical traps I expected, including flying horses, fairy-like magic, ice skating and a handsome prince. It was painful to watch… and my eye is starting to twitch just thinking about it.

So Barbie, as a courtesy, I am sending a Happy Birthday your way. I know you mean well. And you’ve worked hard to build up that impressive empire of yours. But we just weren’t meant to be the best of friends.


  1. This made me laugh! Seriously…slutty barbie. LOL!
    Having 2 girls who are now teens, we have had our HUGE share of Barbies in this house. It seems like EVERYONE thinks it’s a “safe” birthday or christmas gift…A Barbie. I hated that everyone gave my girls barbies…All. The. Time.
    Sure, a couple is good…but 50? 🙁

    1. i remember getting a Barbie as a gift but really don’t remember playing with it. It probably got buried in the backyard by my brother (which obviously didn’t bother me!)

    1. Thanks. I’m keeping my fingers crossed I look that good at 55, too 🙂

  2. This article cracked me up! I would have to agree 100%. I was more of a “tomboy” growing up so the only barbie I ever owned was a Christmas gift one year from a family member who thought I needed more girly things around the house..whatever that means. It sat there in its box on top of my bookshelf never touched. I know that they are attempting to change the image of barbie such as dressing her in high paying jobs but I am pretty sure this generation of parents with think nothing more of her than the little slutty underweight girl hanging at the beach with perfect looking Ken. I can’t seem to get past that. In middle school in math class we had to recreate a life size barbie based on her toy size dimensions. I know there has been a lot of those stories on the Internet but to actually recreate it myself as a young teen was an eye opener. Thanks for the read I had a good laugh! I would love for you to check out my site with similar stories and leave a comment! http://www.parentinginmotion.com.

    1. Yep… never understood the whole Barbie thing. And while I was a proud tomboy — I think this generation is getting the fact that being active and having skinned knees and perhaps a smudge of dirt of your face is as much of being a girl as any of the frilly lace outfits.

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