Share Your Barbie Memories
Happy Birthday, Barbie!
Can you believe today is Barbie's 50th birthday? I swear that doll doesn't look a day over 25.
isn't just little girls who grew up with Barbie. Plenty of little gay
boys did, too. I know more than a few guys—actually gay and
straight!—who stole their sister's Barbie dolls. My gay friend Michael
famously swiped his sister's Barbie and hid her under his bed, taking
her out at night to play with her.
Mattel introduced Barbie
back in 1959, and did you know that she was modeled on a kinky plastic
Swiss doll/sex toy known as Bild-Lilli? This according to Robin Gerber,
who wrote the book Barbie and Ruth, which tells the story of how Barbie came to be.
have to admit that I haven't played with a Barbie doll for years, but
just thinking about her brings back good memories. Why did I love
Barbie? First of all, she was beautiful. Unrealistically beautiful, but
beautiful. That blonde hair, those big boobs, that tiny waist and those
ridiculously long legs. A lot us didn't necessarily want to marry
Barbie—we wanted to be her, and many drag queens have lived out that
fantasy over the years.
Barbie wasn't just beautiful. She really
had it all, including a cool little sister (remember Skipper?), an amazing wardrobe (Bob Mackie designed for her!) and an exciting career. Well, many exciting careers.
Barbie has been everything from an astronaut to a rock star to an army
medic over the years.
Then there was the Barbie Malibu Dream House. Was that not the coolest
dollhouse ever? (FYI: In celebration of Barbie's birthday, Mattel hired
interior designer Jonathan Adler, who is launching a "Jonathan Adler
Loves Barbie" collection in September, to furnish a life-size Barbie
Malibu Dream House in Malibu. There is going to be a star-studded party
there tonight, with Heidi Klum among the attendees.)
And can we reminisce about Ken for a moment? He's not my type now, but back in the day I envied Barbie for having a man like Ken in her life.
fess up: Did you play with Barbie when you were a kid? And is there
anyone out there who still has the dolls they grew up with? I just
read that an original Barbie is worth close to $30,000.