Let’s face it. Barbie is eternal. From her early days of sky-blue eyeshadow and unbending legs, through her flirtation with the Swinging Sixties, to her attempts at corporate ladder-climbing, she is the toy that will not die; love her or hate her, she’s the tippy-toed doyenne of childhood.
And she’s hanging tough into the 21st century. I saw her today, in K-Mart’s Christmas themed window, and after I stopped gagging at the idea that someone thought I was ready to think about the holidays (um, talk to me, I don’t know, December 23?) I had to look more closely at this festive, not-yet-seasonally-appropriate Barbie and her tastefully brown friend:
Barbie’s friend isn’t African American, I don’t think: I thinks she’s a Mumbai gal with a look that’s pure Bollywood (that hair! those dramatic eyes!)
But Bollywood Barbie isn’t the only 21st century updating that’s happened here. Barbie herself is looking very…I think the phrase they use in L.A. is “well rested,” particularly around the mouth:
I think Barbie’s had a little work done, don’t you? She’s got a sort of Melanie Griffith, Lisa Rinna, Meg Ryan thing going on–a mouth all puffy and plumpety-plump, like a squashed tomato.