Sunday, April 15, 2007

A New Barbie Perspective

As I read through Kinky, I realize that my childhood was consumed by playing with a doll that was marketed to be unlike me and my experiences in every way. My favorite doll, Barbie, contributed to body image problems in America (me) and I had no idea. I think back to how none of my barbies were ethnic. Not a one. All blonde hair and identical, with the exception of my University of Miami cheerleader Barbie - who happened to be Hispanic and therefore tan, brown haired, and purple eyed. This collection of poems speaks to the girl inside who never understood the implications of her miniature play dates and the misconceptions about the use of my Barbie.

The poems are slightly disturbing to a girl who played with Barbie until she was 14. Rummaging around the box looking for the other tiny purple shoe. As the pages reveal titles like Hippie Barbie and Black Barbie History, they reflect not only Barbie's inner-thoughts, but societal thoughts I didn't know existed. Barbie, who is mocked in these poems for her so-called American Lifestyle and her supposed similarity to little girls' dreams everywhere, relates to me know more than ever. In Kinky, Barbie is more a real person than a character. She is an actual reflection of insecurties and dreams that all American girls and even woman have. This collection urges me to go back to the large pink box filled with tiny clothes and naked plastic, and play with Barbie from a whole new perspective.

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