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A Barbie beneath the Christmas Tree, a not so innovative gift...

19/10/2022 in Trends

Juliette still remembers that famous December 25th, 1998 when, Father Christmas, influenced by the arrival of Mattel, left the coveted Barbie underneath the Christmas Tree. With a Colgate smile, platinum hair and delicate body, she was everything she wished for. Until her sister Matilda, unsatisfied with her colouring crayons and Tinker Bell costume, decided to snatch it away from her. A drama ensued at the house, bunches were pulled, nails scratched and screams were heard. Juliette still remembers this famous December 25th when Barbie disrupted the peace and tranquility of her family. 

It’s in 1959 that she began to ravage the world, dressed only in a striped bikini, she was offered to Barbara Handler, daughter of Ruth Handler, who was married to one of the Mattel factory owners. Barbie appeared as a young woman in her twenties, fresh, modern and laid down a predefined image of a woman. Different to the ordinary, basic baby doll, Barbie represented the woman of the era by her physical attraction: Doe eyed accentuated by a thick line of eyeliner, a popular intricate hairstyle and a wardrobe to highlight her tiny waist. As for her career, Barbie answered the phone politely as a docile secretary or collected Airmiles between Paris and New York. She was a little squashed in her air hostess uniform, but what does that matter, it’s the price you pay to see the world through a porthole. With time, the image of women evolved and Barbie transformed with it. Her skin tone, normally pale, became tanned and golden and her career options a little more challenging, ranging from a candidate in the presidential elections to ambassador for UNICEF. 

Consumers have had a harmful effect on Barbie who had to face up to stiff competition.The year 2000 arrived, and brought with it an anthology of new ideas. Today, Barbie finds herself, amongst other things, up against Bratz ( which means literally ‘pests’ in french), a doll with a Botox seductive appearance. In short, an absolute nightmare for those who thought that they could reign over the toy kingdom indefinitely. Her perfect appearance is heavily criticised. They say that it is a scandal and prove that by X and Y her dimensions are completely disproportional. Barbie is stripped bare, dissected. 

In reality these days, 12 year old girls are more interested in social media than a pretty doll, relegating it happily, with her hair in disarray, to a distant 8 year old cousin, who will quickly disown her for the enemy game console. 

Juliette and Matilda finally made peace thanks largely to a glass of milk and Petit Lu (biscuits) . The years passed, leaving Barbie behind them placed hastily in a box in the garage. Juliette can’t help but think of their many adventures from time to time. She can’t bring herself to be separated from her and hopes secretly to be able to give her to her own daughter, one special Christmas Day so she can have her own turn at causing a drama.

Copyright Klokers
Photo credits : Alexandre Dinaut - Unsplash 
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