I am a middle-aged woman who does not love pink, ponytails, or over-the-top girly outfits. Give me a pair of jeans and a T-shirt any day. However, I just bought myself a Barbie doll.
I am a little ashamed to even admit it. The new movie release is having strange effects on me. Buying a toy for myself was most unexpected. But the movie is a masterpiece. If you love or hate Barbie, I highly recommend seeing it.
Why? Well, it is funny, full of feminist concepts, fiercely intelligent and has fantastic fashion. Yes, somehow all these concepts are mashed into the one breath-taking movie. I saw the Margot Robbie film with my sister and asked her why I do not remember having a pack of Barbies as kids.
I remember one Barbie we would fight over. My sister has a far better memory than me (probably because she didn’t drink and smoke like a pirate in our 20s) and replied we indeed had only one doll and we shared it because in the ’60s and ’70s, no one really had much money and kids didn’t have 10 of everything. You had one doll. And you played with her until her hair fell out and her outfits had holes in them.
We had a single mum who worked two jobs so I don’t think we would have even thought of asking for a whole collection of Barbies. But this lack of material stuff as a kid has made me greedy in today’s world. If I am stressed, I buy stuff. If I am sad, I buy stuff. It is a problem I have well documented of how I am always hiding cushions from my husband in the car boot.
I have a lot of cushions. Some very nice ones, but all bought with a sense of guilt because we do not really need any more damn cushions. I collect rabbits. And teacups. And corks. Just about anything.
Now my kids want to collect everything. Those stupid plastic things the supermarket gives out when you spend a certain amount. Basketball cards. Monster trucks. Even Bluey and Octonauts is all about collecting the set of characters. We want more all the time in our fantastic-plastic-throw-away-fast-fashion world.
Anyway, I took my movie Barbie doll (in her pink gingham dress) to work and she stands beaming at me every day. I love her. The girls at work all love her. She makes me very happy and reminds me I am safe and I can buy more than one Barbie if I want to.
She is also a reminder to try to raise a strong daughter. Just don’t look in my boot: you may find the pale-pink convertible car hiding under a pile of cushions.