Wednesday, December 19, 2012

THURSDAY THIRTEEN #202



THIRTEEN FACTS ABOUT BARBIE

When I was a little girl, there was almost always something Barbie related under our tree. And so, for this last TT before Christmas, I focus on her. Much of the biographical material comes from Mattel press releases, a long-ago series of Random House childrens books and now fashion comic books.

1) Barbie's full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.

2) Even though the Barbie best seller at Toys R Us this Christmas is her elaborate Malibu Dreamhouse, she was born and raised in Wisconsin.
 



3) Her siblings are kid sister Skipper and twins Todd and Stacy.

4) She was introduced to the public in 1959 as a "teenage fashion model."

5) Her mad success in the fashion industry is evidenced by the willingness of top designers to create clothes just for her. Over the years, Mattel has marketed Barbie clothes by such luminaries as Vera Wang and Diane Von Furstenberg.

6) Her younger cousin, Francie Fairchild, followed her into modeling in 1965. Francie was not as "well endowed" as Barbie, but my friends and I all agreed Francie had prettier eyes. 

7) She is mysterious about her love life. I happen to know that in the mid 1960s (at least at my house) she had a secret romance with Beatle Paul McCartney that included many picnics, trips to the zoo and drives in her pink convertible with teal upholstery. Yet the only relationship she ever publicly acknowledged is with high school sweetheart, Ken Carson.  

8) In 1965, well before Sally Ride, she became America's first female in space when "Miss Astronaut Barbie" was introduced. I imagine that when she went back into the sky years later as "Stewardess Barbie," being a flight attendant seemed very tame in comparison.

9) She has also been a NASCAR driver, a nightclub chanteuse (my personal favorite), and a doctor. 

10) A decorated veteran, "Army Barbie" earned the rank of Sergeant when she served as a medic in Desert Storm in 1992.
 
11) Despite Barbie's uncanny ability to succeed at all these professions, no one is quite sure what Ken does for a living. This probably caused tension between them and could explain why they never married.

12)  Strangely enough, though she and Ken never actually made it all the way down the aisle, Barbie had many bridal gowns designed for her. That's her 1965 "Wedding Day Set" at the top of the page. Francie and Skipper are her bridesmaids.

13) Barbie's figure is the subject of much debate. She is estimated to be 5'9 and 36-18-33. Being this top heavy, with feet permanently molded for high heels, would make it difficult for the average woman to keep her balance. Yet Barbie is imminently graceful.

PLEASE NOTE: Hot Wheels were not introduced until I was too old to care, but I did love my Tonka truck. Some of us girls cannot be pigeon-holed or defined by our toys! 


For more about the Thursday 13,
or to play along yourself, click here.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for a fun T13 this week. Last year for Christmas my youngest niece received a Barbie dog training set. It came with plastic dogs, a small pool and surf boards to teach them tricks. I'm sharing some holiday lights this week.

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  2. Great list. I was such a tomboy growing up. I didn't own any Barbie dolls - just Hot Wheels cars. LOL. Happy Thursday!

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  3. Stephanie Sullivan and I might have been separated at birth. I had Hot Wheels cars and Star Wars action figures, not Barbies. My older sister did, though, and she didn't appreciate the things I made Barbie and Ken do.

    *ahem* Heh.

    Happy TT to you! :)

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  4. my daughter in law will not allow my granddaughter to have one ?????

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  5. That was fun. I had no idea Barbie (and Ken) had last names. This is very cool stuff.

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  6. It's sad that girls born well after me still fell into gender stereotypes. "I didn't have dolls because I had trucks and action figures." A kid can't enjoy both? I was so heartened to learn that there's now a non-gender-specific Easy Bake Oven. Maybe this new generation of children will have more freedom to explore and stretch their imaginations.

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  7. I accidentally deleted (rather than published) this comment from rlavalette (http://rlavalette.wordpress.com/):

    I've heard some wild rumors about Todd and Stacy; any comment?

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  8. fun list.

    and merry xmas, happy new year.

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  9. I heard she was messing around with John Edwards as well.....

    :)

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  10. Love the list. I had a Barbie, Skipper, and Ken as a child, but for some reason I never knew about the twins. Hope you had a great Thursday!

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