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A Use of Barbies I Can Live With (edited!)

1 March 2007

There’s a conversation going on at The End of Motherhood about raising enlightened children; and as one would expect, the subject of Barbies came up. After Impera was born, my mother ended up having to buy her new granddaughter clothes from the boy section of the clothing store, because I was adamantly against dressing my girl in pink.

Time passed, and I refused to accept Barbies, as gift or otherwise. Family was warned. Hell hath no fury like a mother superceded, they knew, so no one crossed my path.

But then.

But then, we introduced the girls to garage sales. We’d give our little 3- and 5-year-olds 10 cents, or 25 cents, that they could use on a typical Saturday jaunt. They would learn how to hold off buying the first thing they saw, we figured. They’d realize that it’s not necessarily the first garage sale that has the best loot. They’d also learn to bargain (although that bit backfired when adults would melt when asked by a 4-year-old how much a HUUUUUUUGE stuffed hippopotamus [bigger than her] cost, and they’d tear off the label that said $5 and respond, “Oh, I think this one is selling for ten cents!”)

In this way, they began to acquire Barbies. These Barbies had seen better days, and had a habit of falling apart. (I reneged a bit on the Barbie gift embargo, but the vast majority of their Barbie stuff is second-hand, at best.) Let me introduce you to some of them:

The princess has lost an arm, but that doesn’t detract from her personality; our surfer dude used to have a stiff neck, and he learned that not getting with the groove just resulted in a torn-off head, so now he’s a lot more laid-back; Blondie has long braided hair, and doesn’t let her goiter problem, let alone the loss of her limbs, to detract from a fun life; Cherry-Dress girl survived an attack of the rabid Monster Dog, but still has a smile on her face; and Tutu Girl is a terrific mentor in learning to live a perfectly good arm-free life. (Even the Barbies aren’t quite sure how to tell Headless Girl that she’s going around naked and using a leg [not the cane she thinks it is], but they figure, heck, if she’s happy, that’s all that matters.)

Now, the Barbies have decided to grab life by the horns and live life to the fullest (thanks, in no small part, to the miracle of Duct Tape). Which is why you can see them in a production of Barbie the Vampire Slayer*; written, produced, and with cinematography by Impera and Trixie. (It’s actually a flickr set. Not a video. Sorry I wasn’t clear! – PI)

Because, as long-time readers know, we’re all about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

*Note: Understand that although the casting for the part of vampire is regrettable, it really was the only option, seeing as the girls have a total of three Kens, and Joss Whedon and his group had already defined the look for Xander and Angel through their own casting decisions.

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