Did you know that March 20th is Barbie Doll Day? Yep – an entire Tuesday in March devoted to Barbie and friends, celebrating Barbie-type values: Perma-tans, pink convertibles, Barbie mansions, skimpy fashion, things-things-things, and of course, the ever-elusive – utterly unrealistic – hour-glass figure.
As I was researching the theme for this month’s I Am Beautiful campaign, I came across tons of Barbie facts. Most of them looked like this:
*Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts. She is from Willows, Wisconsin, and went to Willows High School.
*Barbie was named after the daughter of Mattel founders Ruth and Elliot Handler. Their son’s name is: Ken.
*The first Barbie doll sold for $3.
*The first Black, and Hispanic Barbie dolls were introduced in 1980.
*Barbie’s first career was as a teenage fashion model. She has since had other careers including astronaut, rock star, paleontologist, presidential candidate, and Olympic ice skater, as well as many others.
*Barbie introduced a rap group in 1990 called “Barbie, and the Beats.”
*More than 105 million yards of fabric have gone into making the fashions of Barbie, and her friends, making Mattel one of the largest apparel manufacturers in the world.
*Placed head to toe, Barbie dolls, and her friends sold since 1959 would circle the earth more than seven times.
Then I came across an interesting list at http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org. Check this out:
*The target market for Barbie doll sales is young girls ages 3 – 12 years of age.
*A girl usually has her first Barbie by age 3, and collects a total of seven dolls during her childhood.
* If Barbie were an actual women, she would be 5’9” tall, have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips and a size 3 shoe!
*Barbie calls this a “full figure” and likes her weight at 110 lbs.
*At 5’9” tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. She likely would not menstruate.
*If Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions.
*Slumber Party Barbie was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs with a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” with directions inside stating simply “Don’t eat.”
Those are some pretty rattling, ugly facts. Not exactly a role model I want my daughters to emulate. But here’s the thing. Barbie, for all her faults, does have one thing I totally am on board with: girlie-ness. What woman doesn’t like to get dressed up, slap some lipstick on, rock some glam eyeliner and go out on the town? Even the most modest, outdoorsy, or homebody-ish woman likes a reason to pull out the pretty, rarely-worn things gathering dust in the back of the closet from time to time. The same is true for little girls, too. My darling SweetZ LOVES to dress up. She believes tutus go with everything – including jeans and hiking boots – and will gladly take her brothers to the mat wearing a pink princess dress and a tiara. She’s as rough and tumble and willing to get dirty as any boy her age…and she loves to do it looking as girly as possible.
So out of all Barbie’s blech, the plastic blonde bombshell did tap into that. A girl’s need to be a girl.
With that in mind, March’s theme for I Am Beautiful… is Because I’m A Girly-Girl. Now, don’t wag your head at me and say, “But, Myndi. I’m not a girly-girl. Never have been. Never will be.” Sorry, but I won’t buy what your selling. I don’t believe there’s any such thing as a girl who’s not girly – it’s just the definition of girly has been skewed by popular culture. Every girl is girly. It’s intrinsic. It’s in our nature. We are different than guys in oh-so-many blessed, beautiful, awesomesauce ways – and that, in and of itself makes us girly. NOT whether or not your favorite color is pink, or your favorite hobby is giggling over hot guys while bedazzling your brand-spanking-new pair of skinny jeans. We are girly because we are girls.
So, here’s your assignment. Go getchyer girly on. Girls’ night out, girls’ night in. Date night with your sweetie. Cozy night at home. Mani’s and pedi’s, or shopping at the mall. Hiking, skiing, shooting guns. Crafting with your besties. Wherever and whatever you do when you are at your most girly – I want pictures of it! Let’s celebrate the part of womanhood Barbie got right – the fun that’s wrapped up in being a girl – and let’s torch the rest of those skewed Barbie-isms, Burning-Man style. Let’s do it for ourselves, and for our daughters and granddaughters – a celebration that says Womanhood rocks, and not because some freaky-ass plastic doll says so.
Please send your pics to myndishafer [at] rocketmail [dot] com, with the phrase Because I’m A Girly-Girl in the subject line. I need your submissions by March 18 so I can get your lovely pics up in time for Barbie Doll Day! Don’t forget to spread the word – the more the merrier!!
Much love to you,
P.S. In anticipation of Shafer #4’s arrival, there won’t be any I AM BEAUTIFUL posts for April…but there WILL be lots of fabulous guest posts, so be sure to stop by and check ’em out!