Saturday, December 18, 2010

Barbie: 'Baby on Board'

Where have I been and how did I not know that there was, at one time, a pregnant Barbie doll on the market?!

In 1963, auburn haired, freckled-faced Midge was introduced as Barbie's first B.F.F. The freckles and rounder face were apparently added as an attempt to make her look "friendlier" juxtapose to Barbie's "sex symbol" reputation. In 1964, Midge got herself a boyfriend: Alan. Ken's buddy. There were double dates and everything. Alan and Midge would go on to get "married" in 1991.

  • Time-out. I have to pause because I realize that I'm referring to the fictional storyline relationships and marriage of dolls. *Shakes head and remains rooted in reality*
In 2003, a pregnant Midge was sold in stores with a magnetic, detachable belly with a tiny baby inside. Whoa. This mental image makes me slightly uncomfortable, but I can appreciate the educational value for children. I suppose there were other ways to convey childbirth to young children via doll; the infamous stomach bursting scene from Alien disturbingly comes to mind. Mattel opted out of that idea...thankfully. Ironically enough, Midge produced much controversy among parents who felt that Midge promoted sexual intercourse and teen pregnancy, when in fact, Midge was happily married. You would think parents would be happy that Alan put a ring on it. Right? Oh...wait. Apparently the ring and Alan were missing from Midge's packaging, stirring up a lot of controversy. Walmart proceeded to pull the "Happy Family Line". If anything, I imagine mothers being the most upset over the fact that Midge went from pregnant to perfect figure in no time flat and thinking, "that plastic b*tch".

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