It's Barbie's 50th Birthday: 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.
It 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.
I 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.
So 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.