I read a news story this morning about a new line of Barbie Dolls that are being released called the “Barbie Basic Collection.” Each of the Barbies in this line is wearing a little black dress. Apparently, one of the Barbies is creating a bit of controversy because she is showing too much cleavage and many people, moms in the story that I read, think it is inappropriate for Barbie to show so much cleavage. They contend that this particular doll was designed to mimic the look of having breast implants. If I may, I’d like to offer a bit of objective commentary on this issue: It’s a doll. The end.
I have a four year old daughter, Gracie, who has numerous Barbies that share her toybox (and floor) with dolls of varying sizes and shapes. Most of them are naked, their clothes usually stripped within minutes of removing them from the packaging. By the way, when did it become necessary for me to have to have a fully-stocked Snap-On tool box just to remove a toy from its packaging? Having to use a pair of wire cutters and a screwdriver just to open a Star Wars Millennium Falcon that Santa Claus brought can really suck the joy right out of a Christmas morning. Trust me on that. Geez Louise! Anyway, take a glance into my daughter’s room and you might think that one of the bad guy G.I. Joe action figures had set off some sort of explosive device which blew the clothes off of all the dolls. The toy pig remains clothed in full princess regalia while the princess lies naked among the carnage. Good thing, I suppose, since princesses tend to be a bit diva-ish and probably don’t take too kindly to their royal clothing being worn by a common farm animal. Go figure. Anyway, I don’t ask questions. It’s not a big deal in my mind if one Barbie had breast implants or another one had liposuction on her thighs along with some lip-fattening toxin injected into her face and it doesn’t appear to be a big deal to Gracie either. They’re toys and she is keenly aware of that. They ride upside down in strollers, have conversations with friends on toy phones, and make death-defying leaps from towel-racks high above the bathtub into mere inches of water. They’ve driven pink Corvettes off of kitchen counters and walked away unscathed. Naked, but unscathed.
With all the problems that exist in the world today…war, terrorism, crime, unemployment, stock market crashes, liberalism (had to throw that in for some of my “progressive” friends)…I have to say that a big-boobed-Barbie ain’t one of ’em! Some may say that this Barbie will cause Gracie to have unrealistic expectations about what women should look like. That if she grows up and doesn’t have the “perfect” body, whatever that is, that it will somehow be because my wife and I were bad parents and let her play with “Implant Barbie.” I don’t buy that. I grew up in a time when every boy had toy guns that looked real. We fought countless wars and had more shootouts than I could ever count. I always had a BB gun close by and even got lucky and shot a few mocking birds over the years. Those games and toys so influenced my life that today, as an adult, I don’t even own a gun. I don’t have a problem with guns at all. I’ve just never really needed one. Not yet. I have been thinking of getting one, though. Times have changed and the world that I knew as a child has become a much more dangerous one. I mean, have you seen a Barbie Doll lately?