Tuesday, January 17, 2012


There is a Facebook campaign afoot to encourage Mattel to bring out a bald Barbie, to offer encouragement to girls who have lost their hair because of cancer treatment. While I can’t argue with the core motivation at work here – making sick children feel a bit happier – I do have a few qualms about what appears to be the endgame. Rather than toe-poking the whole ghastly Barbie aesthetic into the prehistoric swamp where it properly belongs, these well-meaning agitators just seek to shift the parameters a little: it is as important as ever to be a beewootiful puhwincess, it seems, but you can still achieve that goal even if you’re as hairless as a porn star’s undercarriage and throwing up every few hours.

Moreover, the campaigners have apparently missed the chance to offer a sense of empowerment to the children on whose behalf they claim to act. Want a bald Barbie? Get a normal Barbie; cut its hair off. And the same goes for those who prefer their anatomically unfeasible homunculi to be black or amputees or multiply pierced; do it yourself. Many was the happy hour I spent inflicting ghastly tortures on my Doctor Who doll, including a doomed attempt to create a functioning iron maiden from Lego. Are kids today really so incapable of such acts of creative destruction? Answers, if there are any, to be carved into the severed head of Action Man and sent to the usual address.


Anonymous said...

Imagine how disapppointed you'd be to find someone had already shorn your Barbie - you might just feel compelled to shear your sister instead.
At least that's my theory as to how that sort of thing happens.

LC said...

They should do a second hand Ford Fiesta Barbie accessory to show support for all the women who've been forced to downgrade to more affordable cars because of the credit crunch.

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feimineach said...

I had a ginger Cindy once and I cut off all her hair as a result of the self-loathing I had developed from being teased at school for being ginger myself. They were dark times. I was six.