My Barbie was never the seductive messenger of the capitalist heteropatriarchy she was later made out to be. I had an orgy of Barbies -- Barbie after Barbie, breast after breast, impossible feet, an occasional articulated knee. True, some won beauty contests. True, none of the Barbies went to school to become doctors or accountant.But Barbie wasn't a mind-numbing induction into good girl/good looking girl either.
My Barbies were hedonists. Possessors of vast wardrobes, they preferred to live naked. Together. In a big Barbie townhouse, along with the naked Planet of the Apes dolls. The Barbies were non-monogamous, sexually adventurous, gymnastic and supple -- of course I'm sorry now that I spread their legs so wide that the little thighs popped right out of their sockets, but it was a good lesson to learn before moving on to flesh and blood women. Besides, if Barbie and Ape limbs hadn't been twisted so viciously, I might never have discovered the new toys and scenes made possible with Ape heads secured to those impossible Barbie bodies; Miss Universe's head attached to the handsome Cornelius torso. The line between Barbie and ape (and GIJoe -- mainly tied up by the pool) was never hard to recover-- this was not a sophisticated gender/speciesfuck -- but the point is that Barbie was a bad girl, but she wasn't punished unless she wanted to be -- she got to live in Barbie condo.... she got to undress all the other Barbies.
I didn't want to grow up to be Barbie (although I did go through a rather tasteless period where I thought Barbie hair would suit me). Rather, I wanted to DO Barbie. I wanted to be 11 inches tall and run my hands along her breasts and thighs and look deep into those vacuous little eyes and I knew that Barbie wasn't stupid, after all.