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Dear diary,

Today was the best day! We went over to Karen's house and played Barbies 💕We had a whole new wardrobe for dressing up and we even had the dog too! Amy and Sophie came, Lilia was Barbie, obviously and Jack said he'd be Ken.

The weather was only so so but we all had lunch by the pool. Thankfully mummy came to help me tidy up as there were shoes EVERYWHERE... and I was sooo tired when I got home.

Can't wait to do it all again 🥰

 

 

All this talk of Barbieland has had me reminiscing, and putting aside the ‘cliquiness’ and undercurrent of preteen angst masquerading as warring over who got to have which accessories.... Here are the things I learnt from Barbie:

  • Never cut your own hair - certainly not on impulse;

  • Sometimes the idea of Malibu Ken is so intoxicating that you choose to ignore the indicators that this lacklustre lover is in fact Paul, Sindys' man (in my defence there was no social media to do any digging...)

  • And there's nothing, I couldn't do without the right outfit!

Lilia Weddell Barbie

I watched her amass properties and a fleet of luxury vehicles, a ranch with stabled palominos and a small army of dogs. Her friendship group grew over the years and she developed a more diverse social circle of like-minded girls. All smiley, all industrious and all in high heels. I loved their confidence and style and their ability to turn their tiny hand to any career that came their way- rollerskating to their job at the vets practice ('85), or kayaking to their shift as a Canadian Mountie('87). Barbie was an inspiration to me, and I never once wondered whether she was bright or not. As far as I was concerned, it was implied (or else how would she have been both a pianist '89 and a restaurant owner ’90?!) My chaotic teen years caused us to drift apart but she’s always been in the wings, popping up from time to time in a throwback conversation or some trending topic. However, it was the release of the new movie that triggered pangs of nostalgia and inspired me to hop on to the Barbie PR train that's currently painting the town pink.    

 

"I was dismayed to find that...she has FLAT FEET!!!!!"

 

I couldn't be without my mini-muse for the day, so just in time, my new Barbie arrived. Thankfully she's managed to get her proportions in check since I last saw her....But I was dismayed to find that... she has FLAT FEET!!!!! I was heartbroken! obviously I wasn't blind to the variety of dolls now on offer, flying the flag for inclusivity from all angles, and I really don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand, I know how important it is to feel included and seen, and on the whole society has come a very long way in terms of representation since my childhood….however, I am worried about the impact this may be having on Barbs' mental health.  

When she started out her career in the ‘50s she was hailed as an icon! Feminine and fabulous, progressive for her time, she was aspirational and glamorous.  She has reinvented herself time and time again at the behest of her management all to stay current and on trend. Now, stripped of her high heels and convertible cars, she's got her reusable grocery bag and sensible shoes…. Since when was glamour and aspiration part of the cancel culture, and has anyone asked Barbie how she feels about all this? I know there was a subtle shift in the 90s that sexy wasn't smart, and if anyone was going to give Barbie a job on the board, she'd be doing it in a trouser suit.  Why was it ok to suggest that rash hemlines led to rash decisions? And so what if they do... it may make me unpopular but Barbie taught me I could do anything, and I could do it in high heels. I miss that girl! So if this is what she has chosen for herself, far be it from me to criticise. But if she’s ever looking to re-embrace the high life, she’s welcome in the Wonderclub anytime.

Sarah Milmine

 

 

Love Sarah, x

aka HBIC