Barbies and Bikinis

Growing up, I had all kinds of dolls: a plastic baby crocheted into her own afghan, a hot water bottle wrapped in a washcloth; a drinking and peeing baby; a “lifelike,” ceramic-headed infant with a rounded fabric body and bum weighted with five pounds of little beads; a black-yarn-haired cotton doll the size of a 5 year old that my mom made for me (including her lavender pioneer dress and handbag and white bloomers).

However….

I did not have Barbies. My mother was opposed to the impossible figure they would inspire me to attain, which is fair, because I am a long-waisted 5’3″, which means I have Very short legs. I can wear capris as long pants.

My mom was also opposed to bikinis, because young girls shouldn’t be sexualized or show too much skin. I also didn’t get to wear much  black, because kids should wear lots of happy colors.

Once, when I was nine, my mother’s sister (Aunt Delores) came to town from 2500 miles away. She took me to a bunch of yard sales on Saturday morning and bought me several Barbies with frazzled hair and arthritic knees. She laughed and laughed when she found and bought for me a tall, busty German doll with erect nipples. That one was a non-standard-size doll of impossible figure, so she never got any clothes.

I felt terribly scandalous, then, when I used my sister’s eyeliner to paint one of those Barbies with a black bikini. Twenty-six years later I still remember my mortification when my mom found it under my bed. I thought she’d be furious, so I swore up and down that I hadn’t painted it, that it had come that way.

I wonder if I was a better liar then than I am now? Perhaps when you’re a parent, you just get used to finding strange things in your kids’ rooms. Zach told me he once spent weeks collecting his urine in empty soda pop bottles in his dresser drawer, to “see what would happen.” I’m sure his mom had an absolute fit about it.

Thanks Jane Brocket for reminding me about dolls and pretend play. Also, I had a fun time reminiscing about the toys of the 80’s at this website.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Barbies and Bikinis”


  1. 1 painted fish studio October 28, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    your mom and my mom were a lot alike… no barbies for me, either! but i did have a princess leia doll that was barbie-sized but anatomically correct. when my sister was old enough to want barbies, my grandmother indulged her, my mom rolled her eyes, and i jealously watched my sister play.

  2. 2 jackie December 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    oh my this just cracks me up! A full-busted “barbie” with erect nipples… I had a few barbies, but I didn’t really care about them. I like my troll dolls, and my brother’s matchbox cars much better!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Archives


%d bloggers like this: