Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Barbie Doll - Fashion Icon?

Barbie and Skipper - Two Famous Sisters by Christine Noe

I have to admit, I have great memories of playing Barbie while growing up. My sister and I must have easily had a couple dozen; toss in a couple Kens and you have hours of fun. We had a basket full of Barbie clothes and accessories and used to have to put our initials on the bottom of the furniture sets so we could tell who's was who's. The biggest rule was, never let our Labs near them! Some of the Barbies had made it out to the dog yard and wound up with half eaten legs.

These dolls got a whole lot of love, and hours upon hours of playtime. I used to dream 'if only' I could have one come to life like a fairy and carry it in my pocket. This was probably the influence of that book 'The Littles'. We would fool ourselves silly, putting 30 different pieces of paper into a basket with various games we could play; pet shop, restaurant, Barbies, Monopoly, etc.. We usually ended up picking games from the basket until Barbies came up.

To us the most fun was the event of choosing the Barbies. We would lay them out in a line and take turns; one by one, until all were all gone. Yes, this even included the hospitalized ones with the half eaten legs and the Miss America one who's hair got too unruly and had to have her head shaved. Then we would spend at least another hour or so, picking one by one through the clothes and accessories basket until we were satisfied. I am sure some outfits never made it out of the basket.

I remember going to Emporium and rushing to the Barbie aisle to find new outfits. It just seemed amazing how many new ones were constantly released. So many shoes! and somehow we had it all indexed what shoes we already had.

I don't really remember playing with the dolls so much as the enjoyment of selecting them, dressing them and setting them up on their furniture like structures. We never owned a Barbie Dream Home.. why? Because we were encouraged to use our imaginations. I never fully understood that, because we had all the furniture for it.. but so be it, a dish pan would be the pool, stacked crates would be the various rooms and horses would be the means of transportation.

Whether Barbie represented perfection or the impossible figure for a female to obtain, never really seemed to be a big deal. To us, it was just great fun and planted years upon years of memories.

On a recent visit, my mom rediscovered her old Barbies I had had out in my garage. She was like a kid in the candy shop, ooh'ng and ahh'ng over the home made clothes, the memories she and her sisters shared while growing up. It made me smile, seeing the memory was something we shared. How those silly Barbies ended up in my garage still remains a mystery!

Barbie has been full of longstanding controversy; saying everything from she is too sexy to her body type would look mutant in real life. Throughout the years several friends and relatives have been introduced to ride the wonderful wave of Barbie and her marketing. Barbie's most popular sister is Skipper (originally introduced in 1964). The Original Barbie was introduced in 1959.

The relationship between Barbie and her sister remains in the hearts of all the young girls around the world who played with them.

For more sister related articles please visit All About Sisters. - Copyright © 2008

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