Rethinking Pygmalion

Once upon a time about 50 years ago, people who should have had better things to do decided to create the perfect woman. She would be shapely of form with prominent, dangerously pointed breasts, an impossibly narrow waist, and comely hips, all in unnatural proportions that no real woman could ever hope to emulate.

Her face would feature large, wide-set blue eyes, a dainty turned-up nose, rosy lips and a perfect complexion. Her legs would be long and slender, unblemished by saddlebags, cellulite, or spider veins. And her arms would be permanently thin and firm with no hint of either unsightly sagging flesh or unsightly masculine muscles. Her delicate feet would wear fetish stilettos without complaint.

The people worked long and hard, until finally they had sculpted and molded and immortalized the perfect image of woman in rubberized plastic, and when they were done they christened her “Barbie®, the Teen-Age Fashion Model.”

And the women of the planet knelt before this iconic vision of beauty and envied her perfection, giving her onto their daughters in all her many dazzling versions so that they could learn the heights to which women could aspire in addition to being a fashion model, including Princess, Fashionista, Mermaid, and Fairy.

And Barbie® went forth and multiplied: Barbie® begat Ken® which begat Midge® which begat Skipper®, Tutti®, Stacie®, Kelly®, and Krissy®, which begat a family of Barbie® friends and a line of Barbie® related products so that young girls would understand the significance of the color “pink” and could learn important life skills by playing with their Barbie® Hairtastic™ Styling Head, Barbie® Hairtastic™ Color & Wash Salon™, and  Barbie™ Princess Charm School.

And because human brains can sometimes malfunction, the adoration of youth unfortunately became the adulation of adults and Barbie® Collector was born. And lo, these many collectible dolls include the offspring of an unholy union between George Lucas and opera composer Richard Wagner and one from Cher and Marie Antoinette.

Yet many others are also available, for verily, the dolls’ numbers are legion  and include collectible Kens in versions most reasonable minds would never have contemplated.  But which might drive those same minds to wonder who bought this:

while being thankful it is no longer available.

And those same minds, curious about those who would cherish such dolls, might be driven to order a free catalogue or join the Barbie® Fan Club, a club which has caused Ken great mental anguish because no one has created a fan club to honor him and he’s starting to suspect that maybe he’s nothing more than just another Barbie® fashion accessory, although thinking back he realizes he has always suspected something was amiss, and he wonders if his missing man parts may have something to do with it.

But then he learns that Barbie® Fan Club members are adults who buy things like this created especially just for them:

Nighty Brights Francie Giftset is a fresh, fun take on Barbie doll’s cute cousin, in a new Silkstone® body! She’s all set for a slumber party in green baby dolls pjs with yellow, white and pink polka dots, matching bloomers and white slippers with pink pompoms.

For the adult collector.”

And thus he decides that having his own fan club where adult collectors could buy his cute, youthful cousins, maybe isn’t such a great idea after all. Although he isn’t really surprised, having survived the insufferably boring Teen Talk Barbie® who would never shut up even though she could only say, “Will we ever have enough clothes?”, “I love shopping!”, and  “Math class is tough!”

At least until people started swapping her voice hardware with GI Joe’s, resulting in Barbie® yelling, “Attack!” “Vengeance is mine!” and “Eat lead, Cobra!” While Joe announced, “Let’s plan our dream wedding!”

Resulting in dolls that, for once, most adults who are not Barbie® Collectors might actually think were worth buying.

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Posted on November 16, 2011, in Commentary, Humor, Other, women. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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