Monday, April 18, 2011

Complexification

Yesterday, while looking for a present for my 3-year-old nephew, I Googled "engineering toys toddler."
I got this.
Yes, folks, that is in fact a computer engineering Barbie, complete with glasses and a laptop -- and an hourglass figure.
Oy vey.
I stayed on this train of thought for a while, hoping for a Senator Barbie, a marine biologist Barbie, a commercial pilot Barbie and more. No dice. There were a few other career dolls, though: Baby Doctor Barbie, Dentist Barbie and Pizza Chef Barbie. Oh, and Barbie I Can Be ... a Bride.
I've never been into the typical Barbie thing. Sure, I had a couple of dolls growing up, as did my sister, but our idea of playing with Barbies was a little, shall we say, different. The world was always ending for our Barbies. Crazed killers pursuing them, earthquakes, bombs, floods. You name it, our Barbies dealt with it. Rachel had two cars that we made amphibious, so they could drive into the ocean and float away. (Still a personal fantasy of mine.)
These were strong, capable Barbies, and not because Mattel supplied us with "career-themed content" online, but because we never bothered with traditional Barbie plotlines. Get married and live happily ever after with Ken in the Barbie mansion and drive a Barbie Porsche? Get real.

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