Barbie turns 50

The iconic Barbie doll turns 50-years old tomorrow.  If you had the doll as a child, her birthday may bring back memories of your halcyon youth.  If you didn’t own the doll, then her birthday is nothing more than an interesting bit of trivia.

Barbie was created by Ruth Handler and the doll first appeared on March 9th, 1959.

Barbie doll was created by Ruth Handler and first appeared on March 9th, 1959.

However, the Mattel-manufactured doll has brought joy to millions of children over the half century as well as raising ridiculous objections from hundreds of adults.

These angry adults constantly harangued Barbie as harbinger of bulimia and anorexia to young girls.  Yet, these are the same people who incessantly complain about the so called epidemic of youth obesity.

So which is it?  Are little girls too skinny or too fat?

According to the American Obesity Association about 15.5 percent of adolescents (ages 12 to 19) and 15.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are obese.According to the American Obesity Association about 15.5 percent of adolescents (ages 12 to 19) and 15.3 percent of children (ages 6 to 11) are obese.

It would actually be a service if a fat girl looked at a Barbie and acquired a bad body image.  Fat people (of which I am one) should have a bad body image, otherwise WHAT’S THE INCENTIVE FOR THEM TO LOSE WEIGHT AND GET HEALTHY?

Certainly it would bad if a dark skin, brown eye, brown hair little girl believes Barbie’s appearance is the only true image of beauty.

Fortunately, our current society is there to contradict her.  Just look at some of the most famous sex symbols we have today: Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Beyoncé Knowles, Jessica Biel, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, Meagan Fox, Eliza Dushku, and Aishwarya Rai.  None of the aforementioned women are blond (at least naturally) and several aren’t even Caucasians.

In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.

In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute.

Historically this wasn’t always the case, and certainly the most famous sex symbol of all, Marilyn Monroe, known as a blond (but not really that skinny), the term “Barbie doll,” at least in today’s lexicon, is associated with several negative connotations.

Of course no child playing with a Barbie has any understanding or interest in the socio-ramifications the doll may or may not play in gender politics.  Children play with Barbie dolls because their fun.

When I was a wee lad I played with Star Wars action figures.  Now that I’m an adult, I have no hang-ups over my inability to wield a lightsaber or a bad body image because I don’t look anything like a Wookiee—all my neurosis stem from much deeper issues.

The Wookiees, whose name for themselves translated to the People of the Trees, were a species of hairy bipedal humanoids that were inhabitants of the planet Kashyyyk

The Wookiees, whose name for themselves translated to the People of the Trees, were a species of hairy bipedal humanoids that were inhabitants of the planet Kashyyyk

Aliments such as obesity, bulimia and anorexia are too debilitating to have their origins in, or even be accelerated by, a plastic doll.  Calamites like eating disorders are so severe they can only stem from one source, parents.

Happy 50th birthday, Barbie and welcome to the Land of Punt.

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