Friday, March 28, 2008

The Official Flashing Diamond Barbie Post

Flashing Diamond Barbie has been living with us for two weeks and this is the first I've seen of her. Did I happen to mention that her ring flashes? It flashes when its underside is pushed--lights-on-top-of-an-ambulance like flashing. Without the siren sound.

Knowing next to nothing about Barbie I decided to Google her. 122 sites wanted to sell me 443 Barbie dolls. My search did, however, turn up diamond girl's official title: Mattel Barbie Bride Doll with Twinkling ring, and more or less, an official description:

"It's the day of Barbie's dream wedding, and you're invited! Help Barbie prepare for her special day with her beautiful and romantic wedding gown and veil. Sheer fabric with a sparkly floral motif adorns her white satin dress...and she has a sheer veil with a pink tiara, too. In one hand she holds her bridal bouquet of pink flowers, and on the other hand -- surprise! -- she wears a pink "diamond" ring that lights up and twinkles! Ages 3 and over. Doll cannot stand alone. Requires three button cell batteries (included)."

Let it be known that I am a parent who is desperately trying to unpack some of the baggage of my childhood so that my kids might not have to carry much of it around with them. For example, Jesus can be just a person--right? And also a Playmobil toy who interacts with pink unicorns in fairy gardens. To my children he does not have to be man of miracles and thorny crowns and crucifixion and resurrection and crying on Sunday. I'm kicking myself for not figuring this out five Christmases ago, though I'll admit to winging it a little when it comes to this parenting gig which is why I'm now going to say a prayer. Dear god please let my children turn out o.k. Thank you. Amen.

And then there's Barbie. Barbie may be just a doll, not the freakshow, cleavage-showing, thin-waisted, big-breasted, anorexic-creating toy of some of my undergraduate women's studies courses. She can live in my house and drive Monster trucks for a living and go naked all day for all I care. We've owned one Barbie until now. And she's lived a relatively peaceful life in a toy basket.

Then along comes flasher girl who might be neat if her ring transformed into a light saber or some other useful thing. I'm a girl who often likes a good gimmick--like shoes with zippered pockets. But a flashing diamond ring? I realize that competition from Bratz is stiff but Mattel, have you lost your mind?

Here's the part where I could rail against the wedding industry establishment. And diamonds. And South Africa. And Mattel. And cheesy wedding gowns that cost too much to be worn once. And froo froo la la.

Here's also the part where I could welcome Wedding Barbie to the house, maybe even throw her a party because right now she's not worth the trouble of doing otherwise. And also because she was given to Aidan by a real, live person who will teach her more about how to be a badass woman--in every way--than a stupid doll will teach her how to be a dumbass.

Here are the before and after glow pictures. For more flashy, glowy fun click here.

the bride

the glow of the ring on the baby's face

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