Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mattel's New Trend toward Modesty

Every Wednesday, I go to my daughter’s house to watch my granddaughters when they get home from school.  It used to “baby-sit” but now they are in school.  Often, I feel that they view me as the one needing care, especially if I have a migraine. 

My husband works near my daughter’s house, so he and I drive up together; he drops me off in the morning.  Then, in the mid afternoon, we pick up the girls.

This means that I spend a lot of morning time at my daughter’s house.  I use her computer, check email, read the paper, write, watch TV, or even do some light housework.  In the course of my time here, I have learned many things about my ‘little girls’, but will share just one observation.

I'll just take a quick bath...
The cleanest things in my daughter’s house are the Barbie dolls. 

Those buxom babes are stripped naked and scrubbed clean whenever the girls take baths.  Then they lie in sun-bathing nakedness to dry.
The tutu comes off, but the leotard stays on...

Lately, Mattel has been incorporating clothing as part of the Barbie construction.  Nothing major, just a built-in bikini or leotard.  Why they started doing this, I don’t know, don’t really care. 
Note that the bikini bottom is permanently on.

Since the Barbie has only pretty firm boobies as a sex indicator, I wonder if this move was part of the costuming.  If you have had a girl who dresses her Barbie multiple times a day, in a variety of cheaply-made-but-flashy-dresses, then you realize that parts of those dresses are all over the house (especially the shoes, those stupid high heels that never stay on, and tend to get sucked up in the vacuum in nothing flat).
Who will keep track of this?

Those shoes?  Gone in one day!
While this post reveals no big epiphanies or great human event, I enjoy writing about the trivial and the minutia parts of daily life.

22 comments:

  1. Not sure why they are starting that now either, seems strange. Probably some overactive group who claims it offends kids or something. All nice and clean, can't beat that scene.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having personally stepped on those tiny pieces with bare feet, I hate the Barbie accessories. I think it is a monetary thing--they can sell more thematic Barbies this way.

      Delete
  2. Ugh Those shoes! My daughter would get tons of Barbies and never ever play with them! My son and Nephew would toss them around in some godzilla adventure and later I would step on all the little accessories that would come flying off during a monster attack! LOL
    Blessings, Joanne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man. Those accessories. Boys have a good idea: they tear off the Barbie heads and use the body to bat the head. Works for me.

      Delete
  3. Daughter had the camper and the dolls and the clothes which sat in her closet until one of her girlie girlie friends came over. My big issue with the barbie stuff was that it all had to be assembled and there were 90 kajillion decals that had to be stuck on so that someone with little fingers could peel them all off.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'll give you an insider perspective (ask me about my day job offline some time). Every year it costs more money to make a doll but the price you pay in the store almost never goes up. Molded plastic is (very often) cheaper than fabric. Sometimes the answer is simple :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suspected that it was something like that. Thanks for the confirmation. (More details on the day job sometime?)

      Delete
  5. I love every bit of this post because I completely relate to it.

    When my girls go to school, it does seem that the only thing they've really cleaned are the Barbies LOL! The bad thing is though, Dr. Jones LOVES hiding the shoes. I've even found her chewing on them--soooo scary. Those darn shoes ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder how many tiny shoes have been chewed by baby or pet? And then how many have worked their way through a digestive system? It's scary what can be found in a baby diaper.

      Delete
  6. Dear Susan,
    For myself, the day seems filled with much of nothing except reading and blogging, sleeping and eating, watching a little television and chatting with friends on the phone. And yet these small homey experiences comfort me. They are the routine, possibly the trivia, of my day and they keep my mind active and my heart reaching out to others.

    I never had children and so have missed the Barbie/Ken life. I never even knew about those shoes that Elisa's youngest chews on! I'm learning so much through blogging!

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you get a chance, take a peek at a packaged Barbie with her new ensemble. She dresses better than I ever did.

      Delete
  7. Dear Susan,
    Dee again. If you don't follow the blog of "Mamawolfe," you might not have read her recent posting on Barbie dolls. I suspect you'll find it interesting. Here's the site:
    http://mamawolfe-living.blogspot.com/2012/01/banning-barbie-look-at-irans-attack-on.html

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read that the other day! I hope she sees this post--wrote that there would be a similar thought on the Barbie epidemic on my blog. Thanks for the heads-up. Everyone--go check out the above site!

      Delete
  8. I had a barbie doll but, like all my other dolls, she was decapitated while my older brother was learning about the French Revolution. They lost quite a lot of charm after that, and heads went missing as well. Perhaps they were also vacuum fodder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is probably a world of Barbie parts in every neighbor hood. What didn't get thrown out, chewed on, vacuumed up, or sent to Good Will, all that is lying in some landfill. Scary.

      Delete
  9. It's sort of funny that it seems like Barbie is getting both more and less modest at the same time. On the one hand, she has clothing permanently melded into her flesh. On the other, she wears bikini briefs and a short top like that one photo up there instead of the dresses I always had for Barbie.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 A-to-Z Challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right. That particular Barbie is from Europe, so she may be in a more liberated sexual climate. She may not have hit our stores yet...

      Delete
  10. Interesting. Barbie isn't something I usually associate with modesty, but that is true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, modesty is not one of the Barbie selling points, that is true. I wonder if the market needed to be expanded, so the molded clothing became part of a thematic sale campaign? "Swan Lake Barbie" "Ballerina Barbie"...it could be a good hook for little dancing girls.

      Delete
  11. Hahaha that reminds me of the days when I used to play Barbie and they used to be buck naked. No that sounds like I'm old. ;-P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I think that means you did the same things my little ones are doing. That makes you young!!

      Delete

Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!