Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Can Be Anything

According to Wikipedia, Barbie has had over 125 careers since her plastic birth in 1959. I once loved Barbies, and especially enjoyed my gymnastics and ballerina Barbies, because, quite frankly, they were much more talented in those areas than I was. So, her is a salute to Barbie's careers because beauty is nothing without brains (though I'm not sure Mattel would agree).

1. Sign Language Teacher 

First off, hats off to Mattel for recognizing that there are Deaf children in the world who want to see themselves reflected in toys. However, everyone now please put your hats back on. That's a cool poster you've got there, Ms. Barbie, depicting twelve different signs. Can you show me with your hands? Oh, what's that you say? Your fingers are glued together? That must make it difficult to be a teacher of American Sign Language. One might note that Barbie's right hand is positioned in the "I Love You" sign, but it cannot deviate. Also, a miniskirt and bobby socks? Really?

2. Canadian Mountie Barbie

I wish this were a joke or at the very least a satire. But no. Although you can't in the picture, Barbie is sporting sexy leather boots with heels completely inappropriate for patrolling Canada. And, seriously, the one god damned time she actually needs a horse she doesn't have one? What's that about? 

3. Architect Barbie 

"Hey, Barbie! Where are you headed with that enormous thermos and tiny tool kit?" 

"Oh, just off to build some houses!" 

Apparently Barbies was present on the day she learned about hydration, but missed the rest of the units on actual architecture. I see she's got a hard hat, but I don't think it's going to fit over her stylish side ponytail. Also, I think she's going to have a difficult time navigating a construction site in those shoes. Maybe the hard hat or the tiny tool kit or the comically large thermos will break her fall?

4. UNICEF Barbie

I'm not entirely sure this counts as a career, but Mattel thinks it does so I'll go with it. UNICEF Barbie, I think, has never been to a job judging by her outfit, and clearly doesn't understand that sleeves are never appropriate for an evening gown and an evening gown is never appropriate for work... unless you're hiding pennies for UNICEF under it! But she's not. 

5. Surgeon Barbie 

Well, thankfully she left her heels at home, but apparently she left her pants there, too. It doesn't bode well when your alleged surgeon doesn't remember his/her pants. Also, I can pretty well ascertain that she didn't do too well in medical school if she thinks she can operate using a stethoscope and a towel. I would hope her operating room has a heart monitor and that her support staff would bring any necessary linens. Additionally, I'm pretty sure her hair needs to be up in that hairnet not hanging loosely around waiting to drop into an open body when she opens them up with her...nails? 

6. Astronaut Barbie

How Barbie got to space is anyone's guess, especially considering she's apparently removed the computer from the space ship. I'm not sure what's in that tiny little box, but I hope it's tools and not a PBJ. Kudos to her for remembering her helmet, but I think she's still going to have a difficult time negotiating heels in zero-gravity in that faux-satin Victorian riding suit. Plus, when she steps off the space craft, all the capillaries in her hand are going to burst. 

7. Nascar Driver Barbie 

...and once again, she forgot her pants. Seriously, this is a lady who's had over two careers per year, if we're doing math, and she hasn't figured out that some jobs require pants yet? Also, apparently with this career she missed the safety lectures, too, because she is sans helmet and riding gloves. Methinks she will not make it through a crash! Luckily, though, she did remember to bring her flag - rah! rah! - and her sunglasses. 

8. Firefighter Barbie 

Hat: check. Belt: check. Mask: check. Flashlight: check. Coat/shirt (can't decide what to call it): check. Extinguisher: check. Jeans (forgot my actual firefighting pants at home): check. Hooks: check. Phone: check. Boots: check. Ax: check. Pup: check. Bucket (for splashing bucketfuls of water onto burning buildings): check. Backgammon board: check. Because nothing says firefighter like a backgammon game.

9. Dr. Barbie 

While it's true she is a doctor, I'm a bit miffed that Mattel couldn't define her career further. If their true intent is to show young girls that women can do or be anything (and I'm not fully sure that is their message), calling her "Pediatric Doctor Barbie" or "OBGYN Barbie" might have been more in line with their goal. Here, Barbie shows us how to hold a baby - just kinda grab on and balance it because newborns can support themselves just fine - and a first aid kit at the same time all the while wearing a stethoscope. Mattel is privy to the knowledge that multitasking is a highly sought after skill by employers.

10. Veterinarian Barbie 

Worst. Vet. Ever. I think that pretty much sums it up. Apparently Barbie was too busy dangling kittens from archaic basket scales to pay attention in medical school. Apparently a check-up at Barbie's Vet Clinic consists of getting your cat weighed, put in a basket where it's photo is taken, it's given a shot, and offered some medicine, then pushed down a slide into a bucket of water. This ends well. But she's got her trusty stethoscope. 

11. Yoga Teacher Barbie

Finally! A career that Barbie is suited for. While real-life yoga teachers need to be zen and practiced in the art of chakras and setu bandassanas, Barbie has a trump card here: flexibility. She can literally spin her arms in a full windmill without bending her elbow or having to move her arm away from her body. She can also lift both her legs above her head - at the same time. Someone ought to warn her about that tiny chihuahua about to lunge at her crotch, though. 

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