Good morning to everyone. Hope your start to the weekend is going well. It is such a beautiful day here in the Chicago land area. I have a lot that I am hoping to accomplish today, God willing.
I thought that today's blog would be about the Barbie doll. Now this is a doll that arose in the late 50's . She was to be the representation of a the ultimate in a girl. She went everywhere, traveled around the world, had all types of professions.
I remember as a young girl, getting my first Barbie doll. She came with the signature black and white striped bathing suit, sunglasses wearing high heels. There was also the black torch singer dresses that glittered all the way down to the bottom where all the tulle jutting out. It also had a microphone, long black gloves, a pink scarf and a pair of black high heel shoes. She had the blonde hair that was in a ponytail. She was magnificent. In 1959, When Barbara Millicent Roberts was born she was a sensation and a controversy at the same time. We now had a doll with breasts. What I learned some 50 some years later, was the Ruth Handler....the creator of Barbie was also the same woman responsible for the breast prosthetic called Nearly Me.
Now I remember looking forward to the days that my mother, who worked at Woolworths, would bring home a new outfit for Barbie. Now, when I see the clothing that there is today, it is quite clear how different things have changed.
In my day, there tenee tiny zippers, buttons and snaps on the clothing. I remember how excited I would become over a new ensemble. Their deluxe package came with all the needed accessories to complete the theme. An example was the Shopping spree Barbie outfit which came with a cotton blue and white striped dress with a straw bonnet with blue ribbon, a purse and white high heel shoes. Now Barbie had party dresses, knitting outfits, glamorous date clothes, secretaries outfit, veterinarians outfits, she went to Mexico and Japan, Holland, Czechoslovakia, and so many more countries. She was in the Civil War, got married and even had a trousseau.
Back in the day when I played with Barbie, I used my imagination. In the beginning there were no furniture, houses, cars, etc. I used a show box. The shoe box would get covered with scraps of material my Grandmother gave me and even with some doilies. the show box became her bed or her dining room table, opened it was her car or her swimming pool. I pretended and imagined all types of scenarios for her. After an afternoon's playtime. All her clothes and shows and accessories got put away in the Black cases that were Barbie's closet and hideaway. In the box, was a separate compartment for her to stand. Through the years, I added on more boxes and they also through the years expanded. I played countless hours with that wonderful doll, teaching me that life for a girl was limitless.
As I grew too old for Barbie...I passed it down to my Goddaughter...who in turned played for countless hours and the collection of items grew. When she outgrew the doll, it returned to me, just like a long lost friend. She was then turned over to my daughters who were now of Barbie playing age. Though their years, I added to their collection. Sat down and played with them. I even remember one time, my own mother lying on the floor playing with my girls and Barbie. That memory will stay with me forever. Eventually, the years pass and my girls outgrew the doll. But not I. I couldn't bear to part with her and all her glorious clothes and now many houses, McDonalds and cars. So I hung on and then cam the first granddaughter. She played then with Barbie as I sat and know quite clumsily tried to zipper up some of the old clothing. Though the years, I have forgotten which pieces belonged to which outfits, which shoes were the proper shoes to accompany the outfit as well, but never forgot the joy and fun of the doll.
It has been 53 years with Barbie and just the other day, my youngest granddaughter who will turn 4 next week told me she is having a Barbie Birthday party. I guess it will be time to pull out my Barbie Collection once again for her to play with. To think that one simple doll has created so many generations of fun and satisfaction.
As I am now older, and have many friends who have had breast cancer and have survived, went through mastectomies and have gotten prosthetics, have come to realize that a big thank you goes out to the woman who created the doll and the prosthetics. Ruth Handler, I am sure never dreamed of all the possibilities that would come from one simple doll.