Okay, I confess. I was a Barbie girl. You would not find me playing with horses, or GI Joes, I was 100% a Barbie girl. You could bring over your horse or GI Joe, but I would only play if it meant that Barbie would be involved. I do not know if it was considered a lot, but I had about 10 different Barbies, in addition to the townhouse (with string powered elevator) and the hair salon. I was obsessed with changing their outfits, combing their hair, and even gave one a haircut. Little did I know that Barbie’s hair would not grow back like mine always had.
Yesterday when I saw this article on the Huffington Post. I had to laugh. What would Barbie look like without her makeup on? Click the above link to see. In my mind, she looks like an exhausted mom. Even so, I think that Mattel should sell a Barbie without makeup. It would show little girls that women are real, and they are beautiful with and without makeup. We do not always look amazing in the morning, and sometimes we do. Either way the reality should be present in toys that kids purchase. Free of fake eyelashes, eyeshadow, and foundation to cover up moles.
I wonder what it would have been like if my Barbie dolls looked like real woman (even in the way their feet are formed) would I have had a different idea of beauty as I grew up? Luckily I got makeup out of my system at an early age, and eventually formulated my own view of what was beautiful to me, and makeup was not on that list. I know the discourse and dialogue around creating an anatomically correct Barbie doll is old news, but I still think it needs to happen. I wonder though if makeup free, “accurate” dolls were created, would little girls be interested? Have we created little monsters?
Hopefully the trend can be reversed and there can be a happy medium. Instead of Barbie without makeup that looks exhausted and worn out, we could just have natural Barbie that has flat feet, wears her Chacos, looks energized, and maybe just wears lip gloss. Is that too much to ask?