Shannon and I joined the hoards of mothers and daughters who went to see the Barbie movie this week.  It was at the Plaza Theatre in Weirton (which is quite Nice) and not only little girls, but Moms of all ages showed up in pink,

The first Barbie came on the market in 1959 when I was 12 so Barbie was not part of my childhood.  Not only was I past dolls at that age, I saw no value in a doll that looked like the person in the class I would come to hate for her looks and figure.

Shannon, however, loved Barbie. And she quickly accumulated all the things that came along with Barbie like Ken and Skipper  so they all could play together in their Barbie house. AHHHH, the Barbie house which perpetuated the idea that every woman who looked like Barbie could live in a Mc Mansion with no visible means of support.  But, then I didn’t know the arrangement Barbie had with Ken.

Shannon positioned her Barbie dream house in her closet with bifold door so all you had to do was open those closet doors and you were transformed to Barbie’s world.

The movie was a trip down memory lane for Shannon as she spied all the things Barbie had and wore.  Not only did her “McMansion” take up  all the  space and air in a little girl’s bedroom, it needed to be furnished with Barbie sized furniture.  But, the outfits not only the clothes, but the shoes and purses and sunglasses .were endless and the search of a new one consumed every trip to the mall back in the day. Every trip to the mall resulted in a new outfit for Barbie and Shannon and Mom.  (Hey, we had  to keep thing equal.)   Barbies’ clothes’ market grew so much that craft fairs featured crocheted outfits for Barbie which brought Grandmas back into popularity.

When Shannon outgrew Barbies, heartless creature that I am I put them into the garage sale pile which is why she would turn to me at alternate times during the movie  and say “I had that….you sold it) which made me wonder what exactly she would do with a minute little pink convertable these days not to mention a miniature spandex jump suit.

But I think my real hatred for Barbie grew when she became career Barbie.  The realism took a real dive then.  She wasn’t secretary Barbie, or waitress Barbie. Nope, how about grocery store checkout Barbie? Nope,  Barbie went straight to the top as an airplane pilot, a U.S. Senator, a doctor, a dentist,,,

Barbie was teaching our daughters to aspire to great things and that was good.  She was teaching our girls that if they tried and aspired….they could have it all.

That’s why I hate Barbie,  She lied to us.

While passage of legislation and women’ rights may have  paved the way they never told you that having it all meant doing it all.  Real life  did not mirror that picture.   I remember the woman who could take care of her kids and her man, go to work and fry breakfast in a pan.  It was a perfume commercial…..go figure.

I remember that time as exhausting as I worked; took college classes; and tried to care for my family and a house.   I did a lot, but I missed a lot.  It you were to ask me what my main emotion at the time was?  It was guilt that I was always missing something… a game, a tidy house, a forgotten pediatrician appointment and a moment to appreciate my kids’ childhood before they were gone.

So there we were, mother and daughter with our own perceptions of a very public figure who at the end turns into a real person with all the problems and potential a women now claims.  Hey, I may come to like Barbie. Think they’ll put out a “Nana” Barbie?