15 May 2010

Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic!

Hey everyone,

People are always surprised when I tell them how much I love Barbie.

On the surface I don't really come across as a 'girly' girl, despite having a passion for clothes and makeup.
I have a lot of very stereotypical male tendancies - from constant crass innuendo, to my love of a nice cold pint of lager - even my walk is manly. (My sister pointed out recently that I even walk like a guy (from the leg) instead of like a girl (from the hips))

But I've always had a soft spot for the airhead plastic California girl.
No, not Paris Hilton. The other one. The small one.
And the shops this season are also ALL about the Barbie love!

PINK VEST: Miss Selfridge, £18.
GREY T-SHIRT: Very, £20.
PINK T-SHIRT: TruffleShuffle, £24.99.
UMBRELLA: TruffleShuffle, £17.99.
MAKEUP: Stila, £20.
NECKLACE: Tarina Tarantino, $145.
HANDBAG: Paul's Boutique, £80.
CLUTCH BAG: Patricia Field, $80.

I liked Barbies when I was a little girl - but I didn't really play with them properly.
With my plush toys (like teddy bears) I would make up elaborate stories and adventures with them.

But with my Barbies, I would really just dress them up and that was it.
When I was about 8, I had an obsession of creating fashion shows, and even saved up my pocket money for cheap disposable cameras to catch them all on film.

I guess that was my first attempt at fashion journalism in a way?

And yes I know that Barbie re-enforces negative gender stereotypes yadda yadda yadda to little girls.
But what I've always loved about her is that she's always re-inventing. Different hair and makeup, different clothing styles (although she's always loyal to her beloved pink) and different careers - including astronaut, teacher, doctor/midwife, vet, hairdresser, dog-walker, babysitter and pilot.

In later years she's even ditched wimpy Ken and had a series of new boyfriends.

However when I went to secondary school (aged 11), I fell out with Barbie.
I was the shy, goth girl who generally got made fun of by the skinny, pretty blonde girls - in one: Barbie girls. (Calling such girls 'The Plastics' has funnily enough come in vogue!)

I think that I freaked my poor mam out when she found me covering my dolls in Sharpie pen, cutting their hair off and adorning them with offensive tattoos and intimate piercings.

And while I was reading up on Barbie's history for this post - I found this interesting article that girls destroying their Barbie dolls is a rite-of-passage, which totally makes sense.
Tween girls are prone to fall out with their friends - and Barbie is just another one of them. We've since made up, don't worry folks!

So how about you guys?
Were you good friends with Barbie and her clique as children?
Or did you think she was just a silly, brainless idiot?
I'd love to hear your opinions!

I'm coming up to 300 followers, which I am so amazed by. I'm honoured that so many of you think my little ol' blog is worth reading.
I'm planning another giveaway for after I reach the 300 mark - but this may have to wait until late in June, as I'm currently saving all my money for my New York trip, which is happening in just over a month.

But I'm already planning, honest!

Muchos love,

PS: HOW excited are you guys for Toy Story 3?! This scene made me smile so much!
"Nice ascot!"


  1. Oh my gosh, the dress on the Barbie on the far right! That's from the Barbie where you could put beads in her hair, my favorite! I used to have really dramatic scenarios where Barbie would fall off a horse and end up in a coma. Then I grew up and switched to Bratz dolls... and cut all their hair off just like you! Thanks for this post, it brought back some good memories :)

  2. Haha yeah - beads and I think she also came with colourful hair extentions? Good times! And wow, that's some dramatic Barbie story - the poor girl! :DD

  3. I love the objects with Barbie stamp!

    Hi, i love your blog and i love your style, you've got amazing clothes and i love everything!

    I'm italian and i speak english very bad =(


    Ps: Happy Birthday after two days -.-

  4. i loved barbie when i was younger, i always used to make my barbies super ambitious career women haha

  5. Barbie Rocks!!!

    I can't wait for Toy Story 3!

    I found your blog last night and I'm loving it!


  6. Barbie Rocks! I can't wait for the new Toy Story 3 either!

    I just found your blog last night and I'm loving it!


  7. I LOVE that pink top with the barbie with long locks!

    Also, I hadn't seen any of the trailers for the new Toy Story, but that was so cute!

  8. Hiya
    Well I think I owned maybe two Barbies, and I had a Barbie carriage with a horse! They were cool but for me Barbie was never meant to be with Ken... Action Man and her were soulmates in my house!
    Though to be honest I was never a huge fan but obviously like every kid I loved a bit of make believe :D

  9. lol, I cut the hair of my barbies, drew on them and did all sorts not because i hated her, i just wanted to be creative and make her look prettier :p the fact that she ended up bald with black eyes is beside the point...
    I still have my barbies somewhere and i definately have a soft spot for barbie these days - i loved playing with them :)

  10. Cupcakes: Me too, and thank you for the kind words. Your English is fabulous - and I'm part-Italian :DD Best of both worlds!! I'm going to be doing an Italian-themed post soon inspired by my beautiful relatives, so be sure to watch out for that :) xxxxxx

    Helen: Haha I love it! When I DID make up stories with them, they were all superheroines who had to save the boys. I always thought she could do better than Ken! ;)

    Irresistible♥Icing: I think so too - I LOVE her! :)

    Kirstin: Me too, I love retro Barbie's look from the 80s/90s because that's what I grew up with. I've always loved her gawdy makeup and big hair!

    Fushball: Hehe in my toybox, Barbie was always paired up with my Prince Charming doll instead of boring old Ken! Not very feminist-friendly, but whatever ;) I always played pretend games as a kid - I think my parents thought I was a bit special as I always had my head in the clouds!

    ..R May A..: Yeah I still have most of mine too, I can't bear to part with them :DD She's too cool!

  11. :D I had sooooo many Barbies, and when you come to visit over the summer you'll see I've started a new collection here... and Catey bought me one for my birthday this year! :D At least they've sized down her boobs so she doesn't get a sore back! x x x x

  12. I remember as from ages 4 and younger I thought Barbie was okay. She wasn't my favorite, but I didn't hate her either.

    From 5 to 8, I had the "Beyond Pink" Barbie and Friends CD. I loved it, so I loved Barbie too. I would run around, sing the songs, and make Barbie sing them too.

    Then from 9 to 13, I greatly disliked her. I cut all my Barbies (which were alot, considering I stole most from my sister. :D) hair into mohawks, tried to dye them, couldn't figure out how, so I put them in the Barbie Convertible and sent them flying down our stairs. :D

    I'm gonna end up getting blasted for saying that, but it's true! xD My friends stare at me like I murdered their childhood.

    Now-a-days, I'm very bi-polar with Barbie. We have a strained relationship. Sometimes I love her, sometimes I hate her. She always forgives me though. ;D

    Sorry this is so long, I felt the need to share. xD

  13. I think I only had one Barbie when I was younger - my sister banged it against our slide when we had an argument and it's head fell off D:

  14. I never thought about it, but Barbie is kind of like the Madonna of toys. You have a point.

  15. I loved Barbie - I also had fashion shows with them, but I also made them have inappropriate relations with the Kens. I was a weird child. xD I actually PREFERRED Jem and the Hologram dolls, though. Was obsessed with the cartoon and the dolls, plus my mom said she preferred to buy them for me because she thought their bodies were more realistic... and she liked the clothes better. ;D

    NYC is AWESOME. I've only been once, but I loved it.

  16. I was always incredibly anal about my Barbies, I remember crying when a friend took out one of her delicate plaits; in my eyes it was sacrilege! Actually, now I think about it, I was the same with all of my dolls, big and small. They were all perfectly presented with pristine hair and clothes, the thought of defacing them in any way was horrific, it just wasn't done lmao. I guess in a way this ridiculous need for perfection has stuck with me today.

  17. I plaid a lot with barbie as a kid and even until I was age 13 or something. After that my best friend wanted boys and I still wanted to play with them. I also realize that kids these days don't play with Barbie anymore in that age. That makes me a little sad. I also had a dream house and a car, even a horse. I loved to fix her hair, redo it, do my own color change too (remember there was this Barbie you could cut and dye her hair!!)

    Funny talking style there is in fact human sides Barbie clothes in Japan. There is whole lines and shops too. They have a cat walk show every year. It's amazing.

    I love those vintage Barbie clothes though.I'd wear it any day.

  18. I loved my barbies, I miss playing with my barbies... :C It's like being someone else and saying and doing what u want lol I used to make them all have different attitudes and i think i knew i was gonna be cosmetologist because my barbies had black lowlights and layers lol

  19. I think this article rings true for so many girls! I can't think of one girl who kept her barbies long locks rather than creating a clean-shaven monster. Also, I'm ridiculously excited for Toy story 3. Literally can't wait anymore!!!


  20. Aw i used to colour my barbies hair in with felt tip for 'funky streaks' haha. I used to have an alladin too and id create scenarios where alladin and ken would fight for Barbie but funnily enough she was never that bothered. ahh so many memories. I used to play with them in the bath a lot!

  21. Sarah-May: I KNEW you'd comment on this - what with the pink overload and everything! ;) Awww that's so cute!

    Chels: Haha, I felt exactly the same!

    Sarah: Oh no, poor Barbie!! :DD xxx

    mclicious: DEFINATELY, and I adore them both :DD

    Deliciously Girly: HAHA BELIEVE ME, if I ever did play with them, the stories were rather perverted. Usually Ken and Action Man running off together and leaving poor old Barbie alone in her cadillac having a picnic with her sisters. Sounds like the story of my life ;) I didn't know Jem had dolls - I LOVED that show. WAAAY more than Barbie & The Rockers!

    Stephanie: Oooh an OCD child were we? ;) I used to know a girl when I was about 4 who yelled at me if I unsettled the sand in her sandpit :(

    Emmelie ♥: I know, it makes me sad that kids aren't given a chance to be imaginative or creative due to technology. I love old-skool toys, like dolls houses, play sets (like post offices or garages), trains/cars, dolls and teddy bears cause they all have such character! I didn't know about those Japanese fashion shows - I'll have to research them :) xoxo

    FatshionablyChubby: Definately. Barbie lets little girls act out their dreams and fantasies, and there's nothing wrong with that!

    Danni and Maria: Me too, I want to see it the day it comes out - I was obsessed with it as a kid!

    Lizzle: Hahah me too - I'd use bright highlighter pens! In my scenarios - Ken and Action man would usually run off together instead of fighting over Barbie :/ I was a bit of a weird kid, hehe xxxxxxxxx

  22. I love Barbie and always have. I've never believed she's a bad role model because, while her look is always a typical blonde bimbo, i think she actually shows girls you can be what you want. She's had brilliant jobs even before womens lib, back when nearly girls mothers were housewifes (not that theres anything wrong with thatr, i would love to be a housewife) Barbie was showing girls they could grow up to be Astronauts. Her best friend was black when segregation was still the norm. She's had friends around the world including a girl in a wheelchair. She's always kind, loves people and animals and is never selfish.
    It's odd, i was actually planning on writing a post about this!

    I used to play with Barbie a lot like the little girl at the end of Toy Story 2. I was looking through my Barbies today and there were at least 3 with skin heads and many whose hair i had dyed pink and blue with pens.

    I have wanted the Stila Barbie tin for over a year now, do you know anywhere in the UK you can buy it? And my god that Clutch bag is stunning, i need it too!
    Great post as always Carla :)

  23. Exactly! :DD And you should DEFINATELY still do a Barbie post - ooh with Barbie inspired makeup? That would be amazing!

    I've looked all over for UK stockists too with no luck :( Stila was the first high-end brand of makeup I ever tried and loved them, especially their lipglosses.

    Ooh when I'm in NYC I think I may have to treat myself to one of those clutch bags from Patricia Field :DD

  24. I loved my Barbie Dolls a lot, special cause my mum hat bought most of the clothes for them on flee markets and so I had some no one else had. Greaaat!
    But I also cutted the hair of one, really really short :D

  25. I always had sindy... the poor mans barbie lol!!!

    CAN'T WAIT for TS3! That clip is awesome. Excited!


  26. Wow! I love your blog!
    I want that Barbie vest so much.

    I used to have a huge box of barbie dolls but i was more daft on Beanie Babies :] !!!
    Did you collect Beanie Babies too?


  27. Katrin: Oh me too, my short haired Barbies were always best mates with Action Man...

    giddinici: Haha I had a Sindy too :DD

    Ayeisha: Aww thank you for your lovely comments. I loved Beanie Babies too, my favourites were Fuzz the bear and Hippity the Rabbit :D