Sherry Hopkins Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 19, 2008

Lifelong friend asks, ‘What happened to Barbie?’

I saw Barbie while out shopping a few days ago. What happened to her?

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Next year she will be 50 years old and she dresses like a streetwalker.

I got my first Barbie when I was 7. She was a brunette with a ponytail dressed in a strapless black and white swimsuit. I don’t remember noticing that she was top heavy, so to speak. Later lots of ruckus was raised about her anatomy. Probably by a group of flat-chested women’s libbers. We didn’t seem to notice or care as I remember.

She was the first doll I had that was not a “doll baby”. You know the ones you cradle and rock and snuggle with and coo to. Betsy Wetsy and Tiny Tears were my favorites until Barbie.

My doll came with a carrying case and my Mamma bought lots of outfits to dress her in. My sister got a blonde version and we had to share all the clothes and accessories.

There was a black-sequined evening gown and a baby blue corduroy jumper and blouse, and a beautiful swing coat with a fur collar.

We played for hours on end and in our imagination went along with Barbie to the tennis club, the beach or the ball. We smiled coyly at Ken and made snide remarks to Barbie’s little sister Skipper. Barbie had a hot pink convertible and we had fun imagining ourselves in that car with those beautiful clothes and being the envy of all the other girls.

We never tired of playing Barbie. We took old shoeboxes and thread spools and made furniture and dressed and redressed the dolls to our hearts content.

The Barbie I saw the other day defies imagination. Where do you suppose you go with Barbie in your imagination when she is dressed in a black leather micro mini skirt, fishnet hose and four-inch spike heels?

Do you grow up wanting to look like her, have clothes and friends like her? I shudder to think of the answer.

I guess my age is showing and I won’t apologize for it. When I was seven I dressed like a seven year old and thought like a seven year old. We played with dolls and Tiddly winks. We played with Lincoln Logs and jacks and pick-up- sticks. We roller-skated and jumped on the pogo stick. We drew hopscotch on the sidewalk and played for days.

The most provocative thing we ever owned would have to be the Clue board game that suggested a murder had taken place.

I once owned a poodle skirt with a poodle applique on front. I never had a T-shirt with writing on it and NEVER did I have shorts or pants with BOOTYLICIOUS written across the backside.

Gosh, I would have been snatched into the ladies room and reprimanded for showing a slip hem. I know times have changed and Barbie has too. I’m not an old flat-chested women’s libber, I’m just an old grouch and I just don’t like the changes too much. Not all changes are for the best. Little girls and boys shouldn’t have to grow up so fast and dolls shouldn’t dress like hookers.

You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at