Sunday, March 15, 2009
The Great American Blank Canvas
This year is the 50th anniversary of Barbie, which is mostly interesting because Sarah Haskins and Kristen Wiig have been making some good jokes about it.
When I was growing up in the 90s Barbie, was a huge point of controversy. Researchers studied the effects of Barbies on little girl's self esteem and the Barbie Liberation Organization switched the voices of hundreds of Barbies with hundreds of GI Joes.
My parents went to great pains to raise me in a world without Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, or TV commercials. Though I asked for a "baby changing table" for Christmas I got a tool kit and work table. Yet, my grandma did eventually show up with a big case of Barbies one day. Luckily, they were the ones my aunts had played with when they were little so I had some groovy 1960s Barbies with totally trippy outfits. So I suppose Barbie's looks do have some effects on children's minds since I still prefer vintage clothes.
Its also interesting to look at the reverse effects....how have we reflected ourselves back on Barbie. My favorite, since I'm from Connecticut, are the CT Barbies.
The area I'm from is best exemplified here
Here are some of the adventures Barbies had over the years....
Yea and just when you think that's bad, here's the Andres Serrano Barbie.