As a child, I did not have any interest in baby dolls, Disney or Cabbage Patch Dolls, however, I was a Barbie girl! Reading Orenstein's analysis of what Barbie represented helped me to understand why I didn't fall into the princess or being a mom fantasy. Growing up, I did not want to be the dependent person I saw my mom being. Instead, I was focused on being the first person in my family to graduate high school and college and to obtain a career that would build my independence. This is what Barbie represented! As Orenstein put it, Barbie was childless, had casual dates with Ken, she had careers and represented an independent woman hood. This was attractive to me. I did not play "Barbie goes to the mall." I was very realistic. My Barbies lived in a house full of furniture and a BMW and a Ferrari, went to work and dated multiple Ken dolls. I was content dressing up barbie for dates, coloring her blonde hair with red, blue, green and yellow food dye. She also boasted ear cartilage piercings where I stapled the top part of her ear to look like a bar piercing. I also used a push pin from my mom's sewing kit as a nose ring. I added pen or Sharpie to her eyes for intense eye liner. My Barbie represented an independent woman who expressed her self in different ways. This is why Barbie was my doll.
My question relating to this article is how did Barbie lose popularity when her representation was so empowering for young girls? I realize in the reading, Brats took over representing adolescent attitude and fashion statements. Again, this shows the need of little girls to live in this unrealistic fantasy world that there is biased importance in fashion, motherhood and being a wife. Barbie allows a child to use their imagination. Perhaps the problem is Barbie is too independent and young girls are not taught or led by example of what independence is. Rather, it appears to be much easier to play mommy or the princess rescued by a prince.