I purchased a Barbie doll. The very same plastic dream from Mattel that makes feminists raise their hands and gasp as yet another woman has been lost in this epic fight against false profit. Weird is, the only one, to whom I hadn’t have to defend my decision, was mom. Everybody else made me go through every possible protection speech there is on why I had to go and get myself a Barbie in my age. Imagine that! ME! Getting a doll!
Ok, so, who has been reading, they know that I do get times when I create another plan for another doll and dream of getting myself one of the Dream of Doll ball-jointed beauties. My decision to get my very own Barbie came from exactly that little adoration – Barbie has gone ball-jointed. Why not start with something closer to home, less freaky (like my sister said when I told her about my plan, because year ago she said the DoDs give her goose pumps) and more controversial?
It started a month ago. I was looking for Christmas gifts for sis’ child, when I saw something that gave me creeps and gave me thinking material for long. From the corner of my eyes I thought I saw ball joints on Barbie. Had no time back then, but the weird occasion stuck in my brain and demanded being researched. Hey, all new worlds sprang up! I had never been keen on Barbies beside the beautiful and fantastic unrealistic, untouchable imago (which was defined long ago as the sole purpose of being a woman – be goddess, the untouchable children machine), reason being their limited movement. Already back in 1990s, when I saw my first Barbie in 1992, dreamed of it in 1994 (the camping Barbie – oh my did that make my mind go running!), the limited movement was the biggest minus there was. Plus the ugly prices that made me want to cry. I happened to come across a Barbie in real life at friend’s house and I can’t say how unimpressed I was on the body. Then we got like mini versions of fashion dolls. I have no idea what they were, but their legs moved and they looked pretty. Heads popped off pretty nicely, too…
Every time I looked at DoD dolls, I tried to find some cheaper variants to still indulge my dream of a doll, the ideal doll. Still, Barbie was out of the question and I wasn’t gonna be one of those, who took 27 cm DoD body and smash Barbie’s head on it. Those variations- they still give me chills. The skin tone doesn’t match, the style is all wrong… In other words, the Barbie head goes with Barbie body and DoD head with Dod.
Two things I quickly want to mention. Yes, there were moving Barbies already back then. But if the joint failed, there was no way to see or fix it unprofessionally. The new parent’s horror tattoo Barbie – what’s with that? There was one already in 1998! Must I add link to the video? Search Butterfly Art Barbie on youtube.
Back to the doll. I decided it is the ultimate time to have one of the new style Barbies. So I decided I’ll be good with it and spend my money wisely if I want to spend as minimal as possible and only get 1 or 2 dolls. One thing was sure from the start – I wanted Barbie with good face. There are tons of molds used for faces and I want something that I will like to look at later too. The grinning Barbies were out. There is one grinning face I liked and I was glad to find it from e-shop from local seller. Short-lived was my happiness when for my horror I witnessed how the head was popped off in the commercial with shoulders! The body was right, the head was right and then suddenly it was two very ugly looking stomps! Fashionistas are so out.
But internet has the way to five you additional weird input to your search feed and I was drawn to another face. Barbie Basics 001. The downside? She comes on model body, which, if you’re not familiar with that world, means that she is basically stiff corpse. Good for showing off gowns on a pedestal, but I like nothing that sits on the shelf and gathers dust except my bear, which is too fragile to be tossed around all the time and books. But I loved Mackie mold. And I didn’t want some of the old doll versions with only-moving-knees or pay close to 60 dollars for ugly make-up doll. I am not nuts, I just want a Barbie. But perfect one. Perfect for me.
So I researched on and learned a whole new vocabulary. Ooak, to start with. This stands for one of a kind doll. Which means I learned on net how to fix chewed up, tangled, matt hair. Also how to paint a whole new face if I’m not happy and re-root Barbies! The last one really made my day. If I get tired of the bleach blond, I can instead put in something else! So there was nothing wrong with the bleach hair now or the face. Still, I didn’t want to start out with having to paint the face I liked and mess it up. So the only real problem left was the body.
Change it, echoed in my head, change it to newer Barbie body! Nice advice, brain, but after just watching video on Barbie having tens of skin color variations, how would I know which one to choose? In the description, it said she was very pale. I didn’t want covered-up-my-head-only-when-sunbathing style, so how would I know which one was a match? If I’d make dresses on this model body, how I know it would fit with the other body? You ask from people, who have all these huge Barbie collections at home to find a match for you. Easier said than done. But after careful search I found that too and now I know my ultimate reasonably priced body swap is Barbie, who loves Sinatra. So this will be the second part of this adventure in some advance not so tight money schedule months.
Ok, that’s all very nice, but why would I get one?
I have never had one. Never really missed it either. I like her and I criticize it in the same breath. I want one for two very different reasons:
1. It is perfect model for historical gowns. An idea ran through my head once that she’d be very good teaching tool to show fashion. Doing what she was meant to do. Like if you are giving lesson on Elizabethan court, you can show the era’s typical gown from your table. Of course I’d be waiting complaining letters from parents then, who think that I will show bad body example for the easily manipulated youth. Still, I like the idea of having collection of historically accurate clothing that can be removed and put back on the doll. Which isn’t often the case with ooak Barbies.
2. Perfection. I am sucker for ideologies that seek perfection and I am fascinated the 1950s super women, the perfect housewives and how they were depicted. Barbie, in a way, represents me that controversial view on the topic. The perfection in an egg shell – always criticized and imperfect in its search for perfection. I am well aware that if I indulge that side in me, I would end up heartbroken. It’s a nice trap.
3. To impersonate a character I have had in my head for far too long. One called Maddy. There’s a monster history and one day she might end up on paper, but for now, she is my alter ego in fantasy world. Not always happy one, but proud and stubborn for sure.
Note: the image here has so many flaws – eye color is wrong, the build… But the hair is the biggest inspiration.
So now I’m waiting for my very own first Barbie. I have already picked up the few nice fabrics to make her first pretty historical gown and I am feeling good. I won’t have time for her as I really need to concentrate on studies for now, but she’ll later indulge my every need for small projects and historical fashion.
OH MY GOD! When watching the commercials on Barbie, I happened on another child hood dream – Sky Dancers. Probably one of the first to receive two page fan fiction :D. Those were the days…
P.S. Her green hair has nothing to do with the Sky Dancers. It came from one of my characters, who neither had anything to do with the video.