My Mom Put The Kibosh On Barbie and Ken’s Booty Call

Friday, 21 February 2014

Apparently I am not the only kid who wanted Barbie to get some. As I was reading about how much sex Ann Friedman’s Barbie’s got (so much) it reminded me of a random childhood afternoon that has turned into a treasured and hilarious memory with age.

My mom and I were playing Barbies; I was probably 8 or so. Usually I played alone, making up elaborate stories in my head, but today my mom had joined in, so the narration was real. As Barbie’s day wound down, I announced that it was time for bed. My mom asked where Ken slept and I gave her the side eye before replying “in the bed.” My mom then asked if Ken and Barbie were married. “No, but they’re dating and there’s plenty of room.” “Sorry,” my mom said,” if they’re not married, Ken has to sleep on the couch.”

And that was that, a pink plastic pull-out it was for Ken. I’m not sure my mom even remembers this. But whenever I played Barbies after that, I felt guilty as I slipped Ken into Barbie’s bed.

My mom used my toys to teach me something. Barbie could have been a librarian or a stripper, it didn’t matter. My mom did her job as a parent to make our playtime mean something. (Sorry I forgot later in life and moved in with my boyfriend, but he’s my husband now, so it all worked out.)

Barbie gets a lot of flack for promoting an unhealthy body image, but I never even noticed her proportions until a middle school assembly pointed out that she couldn’t stand up. I still remember that day too, when I was told my innocent little plastic dolls had been trying to force me on a diet.

Barbie’s not bad. And neither are video games or toy guns. Mattel isn’t going to teach little girls that they can be astronauts, or that they need to buy fake boobs. It’s up to the parents to explain why Barbie can have so many careers. Entrepreneur Barbie? Love it. And if they ever make a social media marketing Barbie, you can bet she’ll be sitting pretty on my desk.

1 Comment

  • Thank you. And no I don’t remember this. I really wish I did. You are the doll.

    Comment by diana — February 22, 2014 @ 3:43 pm

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