If Barbie Was an Introvert
I’ve heard the comment a few times in my life, “You’re like Barbie.” Sometimes that comment was meant as a reflection on my attire and styling for the day, and sometimes it was meant as an overall comment on the fact that I seem to have my life all together. It was valid the year I dressed up as a barbie for Halloween along with a few of my friends in high school, but otherwise, I haven’t much felt like the label was a good fit. Now, more than ever, I feel like Barbie is an inappropriate tag.
Barbie always has a smile on her face, painted on in the same way that her garish makeup is forever affixed to her plastic face. She has all that she could want in the way of cars and clothes, friends and men. She’s got a huge house, complete with a hot tub, and everything is her favorite color, pink. No matter that no one knows her parents or what school she attended, she can do whatever job she feels like, and even change when she grows tired of the duties of a nurse, or the life of a celebrity. She’s got huge boobs and long legs, perfectly tanned to match her flawless complexion. She’s been the subject of many movies, and new fans every day.
I am not Barbie, nor do I want to be. I suppose that there was a time when I was in elementary school where I thought that Barbie had a pretty cool life, but those days were short. I decided that I would much rather be outside in the yard, making delicious lollipops out of mud and sticks in our backyard, or collecting bugs that had managed to find homes in between our plants in the garden. I had a vivid imagination, and I didn’t mind playing by myself because there were always enough thoughts running through my mind to keep me occupied. And, even if I did get tired of myself, I could always seek out new worlds in the books from the library or those that filled the shelves in my very own book shelf.
Now, I see Barbie as a cultural artifact that represents the pressure of society to conform to an idealistic version of a woman who cannot hold her own internal monologue or dialogue. I see her as a symbol of consumerism and a limiting model for what a woman can be. As I read through blogs, I have discovered so many wonderful women who are bringing joy into the world through their creations and discoveries by sharing their passions and their words. I don’t want to be Barbie, and I’m willing to admit that I don’t have everything figured out. I don’t want a big house, and pink is pretty much my least favorite color. I have only worn more than mascara and foundation a few times in the last month, and some days, like today, I’ll even go light on those two pretty “basic” types of make up. Though I enjoyed being called Barbie before when I equated the idea of Barbie with a compliment about my looks, now, that idea rings pretty hollow, and it is not something for which I aspire.
I’m not Barbie. I am a woman with a mental capacity that extends far beyond even my own awareness. I love travel, education, psychology, sociology, art, beauty, photography, architecture, sustainability, thriftiness, crafts, social justice, board games, nutrition, and cooking. I cannot change who I am every day, and I am growing more into myself as each day passes. Love me for my mind, for my heart, for my soul. Know that I have never had my act all together, and that I do not claim to be any better than anyone else. I’m a learner in this game of life, and that means that I’m not perfect. So let me be me and join me for an intellectually stimulating discussion. I promise you, I am more than a hollow plastic frame.