In December 2005 Dr. Agnes Nairn at the University of Bath in England published research suggesting that girls often go through a stage where they hate their Barbie dolls and subject them to a range of punishments, including decapitation and placing the doll in a microwave oven. Dr. Nairn said: "It's as though disavowing Barbie is a rite of passage and a rejection of their past."
I remember the first time I decapitated my very own Barbie Doll. She had on a red mini skirt and a white tube top. I knew right then and there that I had to rid myself of this destructive love/hate relationship that me and Barbie had developed over the years. I was first introduced to her associate - Christie. Christie looked nothing like me even though I had brown skin and long hair just like her. She was 5'9; I was standing tall at a breathtaking... 4 feet and 11 inches (Though, I would proudly add 1/2 an inch if my uncles asked). I could only pray to Baby Jesus that I would ever manage to sprout up to 5 feet 9 inches. Sad to say that I'm a 20-some-odd year old woman today, and I'm only 5'2. She was 110 Pounds, and I was 90 lbs, but I was young. So that 90 Lbs in 'Grown Up Life' was more like 146 Lbs. I was fat according to the makers at Mattel. I ripped her head off, and I felt emancipated. I ripped her left Limb off, I felt a sense of solidarity. I pulled her apart; piece by piece, limb by skinny little pale limb - until there was nothing left but her size 1 waist attached to the rest of her midsection.
I Could live with just that part being leftover. I packed her mutilated body parts into a plastic bag that read "Thank You" on the front. The kind that you might get from the corner store, or the Spanish bodega. Thank You. "Your welcome, anytime" I told myself, because I had done myself a favor of not getting caught up in the hype of becoming ....a Barbie doll. I would grow up and think for myself. I wouldn't wear high heels, and I would die before I wore a mini skirt and a Tube top. I would never allow Ken to feel me up while we played 'house', and I would never reduce myself to the type of woman that would actually consider "Playing House". No, I needed a real man, and Barbie came with kids, and a Ken doll, but Ken didn't come with a marriage License. "Nope, not Me"; I told myself as I tied the bag into a knot. I walked to my grandmother and declared "I'm OVER Barbie dolls. This Christmas get me something a little more mature, like a Tamagotchi, Maybe?".
I smiled proudly as I trooped off to the depths of the kitchen to rid myself of her. I took one last look at her as I dropped her into the trash can.
"You did the right thing" I told myself. I knew I would never be able to live up to Barbie's standards of perfection, I could never afford the townhouse on Malibu, or the car she came with on Christmas day of 1994. I would never have a conglomerate of perfectly structured friends. Ken, was superficial, and he was stiff - Not my type. Christie was an "Oreo". Black on the outside with a milk colored, cream soul. No black girl had white features, unless they were born to a white parent. What About Me? The Black girl, with black features. Death To You Barbie, and your friend Christie Can get It Too! She doesn't represent me, nor does she scare me! She's merely the token black girl.
One fine day I was flipping through this sitcom I call Myspace. I see an update: "Bad Bitch Barbie". My ex friend, turned enemy has returned; now declaring herself a "bitch". I ignore her update, because obviously she has changed alot, and not for the better. I mean,... she labeled herself a BITCH for Heaven's sake! 'She must be going through it', I think to myself. I proceed on my daily adventures in the spaces of mines. On my journey I notice that she has also been spotted on another page. The title reads "Pink barbie", I get upset at this sighting. She's invading my privacy; she's in MY Space now. I curse her and continue on to delete her. Then, there's a new breed of barbie; "Harajuku Barbie". I guess that's the Asian Bitch, next up is "Black Barbie". Oh no, the return of Christie Perhaps? No, that's not Christie, that girl looks like an actual African American. Barbie has an army of girls misrepresenting her, thats the only conclusion I could think of. I don't know whether to be upset, or happy to see that these girls have decided to take their imperfections and label them under the Tab that reads "Perfect". Is this a statement saying that "Anyone can be a barbie. whether they be a size 1 or a size 18, black with dark skin, or black with lighter complexions.
I smile, until I realize that they have altered their faces, and painted over their identities with the help of MAC and Maybeline who should be hauled off to the supreme court for Aiding in Identity Theft. Barbie is back, and detrimental to society. My crusade against her was simply a personal vendetta that had been settled between me and her. I had won the battle, but the war hadn't even begun. So, Barbie; I DE-CLARE WAR... is the game that I'll teach my children. They'll stick to Monopoly and Toni Morrison Novels. I Pledge allegiance, and take a vow to keep them away from your message of self hatred. My unborn daughters will never kneel at your shrine, or hope to be like you - or worse; hope to actually BE you. Barbie, you're still dead to me, old friend.
Pecola Breedlove, This one is for you baby.