Last week, I awoke in utter despair and confusion when I realized I was not in Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse, there was no Ken beside me, and the world was not washed in pink. Then it hit me: In spite of everything I was told in song, over and over again, I am not a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. I’m a brunette woman in a tiny, one-bedroom apartment.
This is not what I imagined of my adult life. I grew up with Barbie, studying her moves, her style, and most importantly, her world – yet I’m still not a Barbie girl. Barbie’s fabulous existence is so distant from my monotonous reality.
Life has lost its glimmer and shimmer now that I know it is not made of plastic.
Growing up, I watched Barbie have it all: the mansion, the man, and perfect friends. I could never fit in her world. Barbie is a career woman who has truly done it all. Barbie has been a TV news reporter, a surgeon, a lifeguard, a rock star, a presidential candidate (party undefined), a pilot, a rapper, and much more. Barbie taught me that I could be anything I want to be. But of all the things I could be, I most wanted to be Barbie. Meanwhile, I rode the cold, dark subway to work this morning instead of the Barbie Corvette convertible and not a single man has asked me to “go party” in years.
There is something so sinister about realizing you are not an 11-inch plastic doll. Life outside the Dreamhouse really sucks. I’m a regular woman with human-sized proportions. The real world doesn’t care about my passion for fashion and fun. My face is not permanently painted with makeup; I will never be her. I will never be Barbie.
I don’t know how I can go about my life knowing that I’m not a Barbie girl in a Barbie world. Barbie is just a plaything for children and, much to my dissatisfaction, I am a real-life woman who has to make decisions that have consequences.
The Barbie life is fun, fabulous and full of imagination, but it turns out life isn’t always plastic…or fantastic.