Saturday, March 14, 2009

Barbie, BFF

It was our understanding that one major economic motivation for paying bailout mega-bucks to rescue the Big Banks was so they could turn around and lend that money back to us. Recent experience has shown this plan to be highly flawed however, because the Big 3 have flatly refused to finance our replacement car, credit report dispute notwithstanding.

Luckily our old friend Barbie preferred driving the Jeep and generously offered us her classic pink corvette convertible to drive as long as we liked. Nostalgia ensued when she handed us the fuzzy pink key chain.

Over the last half century, we’ve together witnessed our “Beaver Cleaver” society morph into a “Z Generation”, and although many of us oftentimes feel left behind, our friend Barbie has admirably kept pace without missing a beat.

Fresh out of Willow, Wisconsin, she burst onto the public scene in the late 1950’s. She was already ahead of her time and everybody wanted what she had. To achieve the iconic status she did typically subjects one to perverse microscopic scrutiny and interminable pea-green-with-envy attacks. Barbie was no exception.

She purchased her Malibu Dream House in 1962 and led the charge for equal rights when she found her voice in 1968. We cheered her on as she blazed trails through the 1970’s as a PanAm Stewardess, an Astronaut, and even an Olympic Skier. Barbie showed us there was no limit to what we could do when she deftly mixed her many formidable careers with rock star partying, silver lame’ and platform spiked heels through the heady disco days of the 1980’s. The 1990’s then saw her serving our country in every branch of the military, doing the rodeo circuit as Western Barbie, and traveling the country on her Biker Barbie Harley.

Regrettably Father Time spares no one and to fully embrace life’s natural cycles can be difficult at best, so it’s no surprise that at 50, she secretly knows herself as Menopausal Barbie, while the media proceeds to sneeringly refer to her as Cougar Barbie. Frankly, those new tattoos she just had to get the other day did nothing to favorably replace the snipy Cougar reference with a more fashionable Inked Barbie.

The corvette’s engine purred like a kitten when we turned the key but was promptly drowned out when an old cassette tape stuck in the tape deck began to regurgitate the screaming voice of Tyra Banks out of every loud speaker: “Body Image! Body Image! Body Image!”. Tyra’s tyrannical loop about girls growing up too fast in today’s culture with unrealistic ‘perfect’ body expectations has merit to be sure, yet it seems a little late for her to be preaching from that altar - especially since Tyra made her fortune long ago with a Victoria's Secret soft porn body image she can no longer maintain. Clearly Father Time knows everybody’s address.

Pulling away from Barbie’s Dream House, we couldn’t help but sadly glance in the rear view mirror at the large “For Sale” sign posted on her front lawn. Even with all of her work experience (seems her curriculum vitae never included Wall Street Banker Barbie), Barbie managed to end up with an Option ARM mortgage and was forced to sell her dream house in a down market or lose it to the bank in foreclosure.

Relocating to West Virginia was definitely out of the question. The Barbie Ban Bill was just passed and a restraining order had been placed upon her measurements. She’s Outlaw Barbie now.

The end of an era is upon us.

The feminine form has historically proven to be a direct reflection of cultural priorities throughout the generations, and somehow Barbie shockingly became emblematic of what was considered perfect female form for nigh 4 generations, albeit unrealistic and unattainable.

Perhaps it’s time for our old friend to embrace her age with dignity and bow out gracefully. When Barbie's image finally becomes passe’, who will boldly step into her high heeled shoes?

Learn to play Big 3 monopoly in our ‘In The Rear View Mirror’ January 13, 2009 posting "What Comes in 3’s?"

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