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Barbie and Ken, sitting in a tree

Porochista Khakpour wrote a wonderful op-ed in the New York Times today about someone who is celebrating a birthday today. It’s someone we all have feelings for, good or bad. It’s someone who has divided women. No, it’s not Sarah Palin! Or Hillary Clinton! It’s Barbie!

Yes Gentle Readers, today is Barbie’s birthday.  She’s fifty years old, that pretty blonde girl.  Like many girls my age, I had Barbies. I know many feminists come down on Barbie for being so perfect that it’s not realistic. I see their point. However my Barbies always were fun for me. I created stories about them. They were either damsels in distress and I would tie them up (this worried my mother), or I would put a parachute on one of them and they would go sailing in the sky, jumping out of the airplane on a top secret mission. If I was playing with friends, they were the glamorous aunt who wasn’t married yet.   Come along with me, and remember Barbies of years past.

Golden Dream Barbie

Look! She's Waving!

This was a great Barbie.  She was dressed in a golden pantsuit and had a golden ring on her small little hand.  I gave this Barbie doll to my friend Stella for a birthday gift when I was nine. Stella’s mom was with us and she grabbed the doll away from Stella. “Oh my God! This is the most beautiful Barbie ever!” She ran over to where her husband was in the back room. “Look, honey! Look what Jennifer gave Stella!  Isn’t it the most beautiful Barbie ever?”

                Kissing Barbie

Barbie had collagen!

                I remember getting this Barbie when I was seven. If you notice the dress it has a print of lipstick kisses all over it, and it came with its own lipstick.  I had Barbie kiss several pieces of paper, my stuffed animals, my grandfather’s cheek. Now I look at it and think her lips look like a collagen procedure gone bad.

                Sun-Loving Barbie

Barbie Doesn't Melt

                I can’t remember if it’s this Barbie or another Barbie, but she definitely had a tan line. You took off her clothes and she would be tan on her arms and legs, but her breasts, butt, and groin weren’t. I put her out in the sun naked.  She didn’t get tan. Fortunately, she didn’t melt.

                Birthday Barbie

                I got this Barbie for my birthday when I was about seven. I can’t remember too much about this Barbie, but I remember how I liked her dress.

                Sport and Shave Ken

                Okay, this is when I have to admit something embarrassing.

                I received this Ken doll when I was eight. I immediately liked him first off because I had a Ken doll! Finally, my Barbies could date someone other than my teddy bear or a Smurf.

                One night when I was changing Ken’s clothes I checked to see if anyone was around. No one was, so I pulled down his shorts to see what he looked like naked. There was a little bump. That was it. Just a bump. Geez. Poor Ken.

                A couple of years later I just learned about sex.  I still had my Barbies. Some of them were beaten up but they were still good for adventures. I took out my Golden Dream Barbie, and a Barbie bedroom set I had.  I took Ken and Barbie’s clothes off, got those two kids in bed, and let’s just say that they were friends with plastic benefits. All was missing in my Barbie porno was bad jazz music and sound effects.

                I did this a couple of times. Ken was usually on top. Sometimes they had champagne before hand, like they did in Dallas. They were going at it like bunnies when I heard my mother yell: ”Jennifer Kathleen, the dishes aren’t going to get done by themselves!”  Before I knew what was happening, she walked in and saw Ken out of the bed and Barbie’s breasts. “Oh. Well,” she said, “I didn’t mean to interrupt. Why don’t we do the dishes?”

                I was so mortified. Completely mortified. My mother caught Barbie and Ken having sex! Well, she caught me making Barbie and Ken having sex. This was bad, bad, bad. I left them where they were and went in the kitchen. We started to do the dishes and Mom said: “Sweetie, you know if you have any questions, you can talk to me.”

                “I don’t have any questions,” I said, my hands deep in the soapy water.

                “So I didn’t just see Barbie and Ken having sex.”

                I looked at her. “They were cuddling.”

                “They were cuddling naked.”

                I looked at her. “Do we have to talk about it?”

                She looked at me for a moment, and then said: “No. Just know that if you want to talk about it, you can, okay?”

                I nodded.  After that, Barbie and Ken stopped having sex. The risk was too great.

                I know now I wasn’t the only girl who had their Barbie and Ken have sex. Years ago during a writing workshop we were reading a poem about Barbie. Our teacher asked: “Okay, it’s time to admit something. Who had their Ken and Barbie have sex?” All the women raised their hand.

                Barbie moved on without me. There was a Rapping Barbie, a Dream Glow Barbie, so many Barbies. Someday I might give her to my niece, and tell her that Barbie can do anything she wants her to.   And someday if her Ken and Barbie are having sex, I’ll try and be discreet, or put on some Barry White.

                Happy 50th, Barbie. You don’t look a year over twenty-five.

 

               

Comments
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Such big bosoms!

I was stunned the first time I was given a Barbie as a present... those bosoms! I was sure she'd had surgery, but she insisted she hadn't. I thought she'd make a great spy... inspiring the giving of information in exchange for sexual favours. Well, what enemy hunk could resist those... erm... assets? Her last mission, from which she never returned, was to fly over a nearby block of apartments, to retrieve information about the boys who lived behind my house. A slightly altered carrier bag served as a parachute and was attached by lengths of cotton. She was launched, but a gust of wind took her into next door's garden. She was ravaged by a savage poodle. She died bravely, doing her duty.

Jennifer, someone was kind enough to give me my first award today for one of my blogs, and I have to pass it on to ten people who have a great attitude... so, for having such an interesting blog and being so lovely and enthusiastic, I'm passing it on to you:

http://ginacolliasuzuki.blogspot.com/2009/03/i-got-my-first-blog-award-a...

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Congrats, Gina!

Wow! Thank you so much for the nomination! Now I have to think about nominating people-but all the Red Room women are great!

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room

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Jennifer, I was one who was

Jennifer, I was one who was anti-Barbie, trying to keep them out of our home, until an in-law got one past me to KidTwo when she was visiting them without me. Blast. Barbie got past my defenses by sneaking into the household in a suitcase. I got reconciled to her a little later, in our local hardware store. KidTwo (about six) saw a display of eyeglass repair kits and excitedly asked for one. As she didn't wear glasses, I asked, "what do you want one of those for?" She answered, "for my Barbie." Huh? I asked, "what is she going to do with it," to which KidTwo answered in exasperation, "build houses!" I guessed Barbie could be a role model, after all, and quit objecting to her. (But when I was a kid, my best friend and I kept hanging her Barbies. Maybe we didn't like her popularity? Her blondness or blue eyes? That she had boobs and we didn't? Who knows why shs suffered so.) Susan

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Jennifer, when I was a kid I

Jennifer, when I was a kid I had the Brazilian equivalent of Barbie and Ken, their names were Suzi and Beto, and they had sex, too. Actually, poor Beto had to have sex with four Suzies (not at the same time!).
My daughter has Barbies now.They´re from all ethnic groups, and so are Disney´s princesses. That´s something I find very positive, although I know it´s for marketing purposes.

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Hi Jennifer

This is so hilarious! Love the photos.

I had a Barbie car, a convertible, and Ken and Barb drove around the living room and behind the green chair. Then they took off their clothes and had sex by the piano. I still recall smashing Ken up and down on Barbie. He was not a very good lover. Zero technique.

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thanks ladies!

I knew I wasn't the only one that did "Barbie After Dark" deal, I knew it...

Jennifer Gibbons, Red Room

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29???

The dear gal doesn't look a day over 19!!!

:))

Now I made my Action Men have sex - so you'll seem perfectly normal to my mother!!!

Axxx