BARBIE ENVY

Do we still aspire to Barbie? To be blonde, svelte, perfect, with a tall dark man with thick hair and a perfectly muscled body by our side?

Barbie manufacturers have come up with revised versions of the original Barbie, that more accurately reflect the current reality of most women’s lives. Barbie can now be found in various sizes, shapes and ethnicities, and wearing business attire.

I say they haven’t gone far enough. How about PMS Barbie – Barbie with her hormones run amok? Or Bleary-Eyed Barbie – at six in the morning after a night on the town. Or how about Erotically Challenged Barbie – just not interested anymore. Or her alterego, Nympho Barbie. Then of course, there’s Self-Validated Barbie, who doesn’t give a damn whether she has a man or not.

Do little boys aspire to G.I. Joe? Personally, I think perfect-looking men are boring as hell. Why a kid would want to play with a Hollywood-handsome action hero is beyond me. Why couldn’t GI Joe have a beer belly or a few long hairs flung over his balding scalp? Of course, little boys don’t tend to obsess about how their hair compares to Aqua-Man’s, or care if their ass is bigger than Superman’s. But still, I would think that a chubby pre-pubescent boy with braces and glasses would feel some sense of inferiority when faced with the physical perfection of Batman. Even his sidekick is good-looking in that vanilla-preppy way.

As far as inanimate role-models go, the glorious imperfections of a Barbie sporting a few chin hairs and big thighs co-habiting with a paunchy Ken with a couple of crooked teeth would certainly be a refreshing sight. They could be marketed as “Reality Barbie and Ken,” and have their own show on NBC. I wonder what their ratings would be like.

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