By Mindy Goff
We began our lives at about the same time, Barbie and I.
She was born in 1959, and I two years later in 1961.
By the time we first crossed paths, I was a 7-year-old little girl in 2nd grade.
She was already a successful young woman.
I lived in a suburban two-story in America’s Heartland.
She lived in a fabulous dream house anywhere in the world.
Barbie was my fantasy. Every year I searched the Sears Wish Book for the newest model to put on my Christmas list. Every week I saved my allowance for the latest Barbie fashions. I spent hours playing Barbie. I spent hours being Barbie. Every year, her life got better and better. Teenage Fashion Model Barbie, Ballerina Barbie, Flight Attendant Barbie, Executive Career Girl Barbie, Astronaut Barbie, Miss America Barbie…
She could do anything!
Who loved Barbie? I did! Who wanted her glamorous life? Me! I would have traded my life for hers in a second! Things would’ve been a whole lot different for Barbie that’s for sure. What if instead of me living my life vicariously through Barbie, she lived through me. What if Barbie had my life?
1968 Broken Home Barbie: Comes with Mom, Dad, and older brother Doug. Also included, extra male and female bodies with interchangeable heads. Who’s dating who? Will Barbie & Doug have a new Mommy or Daddy soon? Exercise your creativity as you split up and reunite Barbie and Doug in all kinds of crazy family scenarios. With seven different houses and six new schools between them, the possibilities are endless. Meet all of their short term friends and acquaintances. Who will be the role models for these latchkey kids? Barbie comes with a suitcase and name tag. Brother Doug comes with a GED and an Air Force Uniform. Optional accessories include, a rusted out Ford Maverick, and the Neighborhood Friends Juvenile Delinquent Variety Pack.
1980 Love is Blind Barbie Deluxe Set: Comes with pink-heart-shaped-bubble carrying case. And introducing Malibu Mike, a California native that knocks Barbie off her feet. He’s gorgeous and sexy, her first love. With Kung Fu grip and super articulation Malibu Mike is more than a doll, he’s an action figure! But Malibu Mike has a temper. Push his button and hear what he has to say. “Shut-up!” “I love you,” ” You make me sick!” “I’ll never hurt you again.” “Get over here…NOW!” “I’m sorry, Baby” “Can’t you do anything right?” Each time you push Malibu Mike’s button it’s a surprise, you’ll never know what to expect. Makeshift apartment comes with breakable furniture and fully stocked beer cooler. Barbie comes with insta-bruise technology, magic ice pack and cover-up concealer. Black and blue marks seem to disappear like magic. Restraining order available but must be 21 or older to order.
1983 Collegiate Barbie: Malibu Mike has been recalled, and Barbie has been redesigned for an independent lifestyle. With eyes wide open and able to stand her own two feet Barbie goes to college. Book Smart and Streetwise she’s got so much to give…But who will win her heart? Enter Dream Date Ken. He’s sensitive, kind and passionate, an Artist. He makes her smile, he makes her laugh, he makes her feel like she can do anything.” Barbie & Ken,” Hmm has a nice ring to it.
1987 Newlywed Barbie and Ken Set: Complete with 2 bedroom bungalow. Ken and Barbie begin their lives as Mr. and Mrs. – Each come with a business suit. Ken has a briefcase and power tie, and Barbie has a pair of killer heels. All business by day and homebodies by happy hour. Also available Barbie brand nightwear by Victoria’s Secret. Barbie and Ken now have bendable waists, knees and elbows. These ultra- flexible lovebirds are easily posed in hundreds of positions.
1992 Mother Me Barbie: While Ken’s off to work, spend the day with the new mom on the block. Barbie turns in her timecard for a library card and her sports car for a minivan. Adorable infants come with many, many, many, many accessories. Bendable Barbie can stoop and kneel, so she can pick up baby’s toys over and over and over again. Programmed to sing 12 different lullabies and recite Dr. Suess verbatim. Eyelids close whenever you set her down. Additional children available.
1995 European Expansion Set: Ken’s got a new assignment. Come along with Barbie as she and Ken and all the kids move overseas. Set includes tiny third-floor walk up apartment and right-hand drive Eurovan, complete with real working horn! Spend day after day with Housefrau Barbie as she navigates the streets of Switzerland, young children in tow. Complete with German to French to Italian Phrasebook. Barbie says “Hello,” “Goodbye,” “Please,” “Thank You,” and “MacDonald’s Happy Meal,” in three different languages. Ken speaks only English. Available for a limited time only.
2005 All Creatures Great and Small Barbie & Ken Adventure Set: Barbie and family move back to the States. Welcome home Barbie! Set comes complete with 2 dogs, 2 birds, 2 reptiles, 4 fish tanks, and a dream house full of teenagers! So many things to do, busy Barbie, she can do everything! Taxi driver, referee, child psychologist, animal trainer, housekeeper, tutor, chef, mother, wife, and lover extraordinaire. She’s an all-around domestic goddess! The fun never ends! All-night slumber parties? Early morning sports camp? High School Algebra homework? 24/7 teen-angst management? No worries! With a long-life lithium battery, Barbie can keep going non-stop for years!
2012 The Special Edition 50th Anniversary Barbie: She’s been so many places, done so many things. She’s got a new outlook on life and a whole new look to go along with it Easy hairstyle, sensible shoes, practical wardrobe. There’ll be no plastic surgery for this doll. Each line tells a story. That dream house full of teenagers? They’re all off on their own adventures. Ken is still here, He’s changed a bit too. Still sensitive and passionate, his hair is just beginning to grey, his chiseled physique has worn a bit smooth in places. They’re both a little thicker in the waist, a bit broader in the hips, makes for a lower center of gravity. It’s stable design. Reliable. Familiar. They still fit together, Barbie and Ken, like they were made for each other.
Mindy Goff is an actress, writer, and mother of three living her real-life adventure with her husband and children in a dream house in Connecticut.
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