By Etta Bruttino
Just to be clear, I once loved Barbie. But that was before I turned 8. I can’t remember exactly what turned me off to Barbie. Maybe I was just sick of trying to squeeze the too-small tops over her too-big plastic boobs. (Really, Mattel, couldn’t you have spared a few more pennies for cloth?)
As I got older, I found more noble reasons to hate her.
When I was a college student, she was a symbol of sexism, a standard-bearer of the most superficial aspects of the feminine psyche, all about the clothes and hair.
At 30, I saw Barbie as the pain-in-foot toy that my daughter forgot to put away. Barbie’s knife-like fingers always seemed raised for me to step on in the dark on my way to the bathroom at night. (She must have overheard me trash talking her to my daughter.)
When I was in my 40s, Barbie became a symptom of our environmental neglect, a petroleum-haired, plastic-butted (what butt she has, that is) immortal piece of trash that would haunt our landfills for eternity. Want to solve global warming? Forgot about banning coal. Halt Barbie production.
These were all excuses for me to hate Barbie. They weren’t the real reason. I was finally confronted with the truth when I recently saw DeeDee Stewart’s very funny, one-woman touring show “Dirty Barbie and Other Girlhood Tales.”
Stewart defends Barbie against all the “isms” that educated women earnestly launch against her. (Except the rumors about Barbie’s nymphomaniac-ism, which Stewart reveals are true.)
Why do women really hate Barbie?
Stewart says it’s because she can tuck in her shirt. Women always hate women who can tuck in their shirts. We’ve been called out.
So there you have it, Mattel. Are your Barbie sales down? Then give her a thick waist. All the 50-something anti-youthing women (including me) will again play with Barbie on the floor in our finished basements. And please be sure to throw in an extra, extra large t-shirt, one that we don’t have to struggle to get on her.
Visit Etta Bruttinio at www.YouthItOrLoseIt.com
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