Pages from the Barbie diary, "Peace, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll"
Mattel, the toy behemoth Barbie built, has teamed up with Golden Books to launch the "Barbie Diary of the Decade" series. The first two diary books are out this month.
...In "Peace, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll" -- one of the first books in a series aimed to offer, as one of its creators puts it, "history through the Barbie filter"-- Barbie and her African American friend Christie are both illustrated with pink skin and long, straight hair (above)...
..."Eeeee-ew," you might say, especially if you're an anti-Barbie individual, one who believes, perhaps, that a compulsively accessorizing shopaholic with a bust- to waist-size ratio not found in nature is hardly the best historical tour guide for 8-year-olds.
...But not so fast.
What if the diaries portrayed Barbie as a pioneering feminist -- and never mind that she herself would never use that term?
What if they revealed that, when she wasn't trying on miniskirts, she was schlepping down to Washington for the Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
What if they took on anorexia, for heaven's sake?
-from The World According To Barbie: How Does a Real Doll Remember the '60s? Thinly., by Bob Thompson, in Sunday's Washington Post.
Barbie purists should be aware, though, that these are abridged diaries, and her official blog at Mattel is edited. The unabridged diaries are said to be circulating on the black market. You'll have to get your hands on one to read entries like 26 Dec, 2003:
26 Dec 03
WTF?? I've been lying in a dark box with NO AIR and NO SHOWER, not to mention NO MAN, until Jane opened me for Christmas yesterday. I knew it was inevitable, but who would have thought that her brother Bruce couldn't wait longer than a day to violate me. He stripped me absolutely naked and made me do the splits - the kind where my pelvis is like two inches below the level of my feet. Then he looked really close at the place where you would normally find a vagina. As if he thought I would actually have one, and as if by looking closer, he would make one appear. What is it with boys making us do this? Then he took me naked into the kitchen and ate a tablespoon of cool whip off my nippleless breasts.
*Sigh.* I must have been a bad f*&%ing toy in my past life to deserve this.