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Thread: Barbie Torture

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    Member whatnot's Avatar
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    Default Barbie Torture

    Most people seem to either love or hate Barbie, with opinions ranging from "She's a role model for young girls, because she is pictured with the ability to do anything" to "She's provides an unrealistic body image and should be wiped out of existence."

    For one of my courses, we had to pick a pop-culture topic. I've narrowed mine to the phenomenon of "Barbie torture play" (e.g. Cutting her hair, melting her head, etc.). Most seem to regard it as a means of separating themselves from a symbol of "babyish" behavior, almost a means of rebellion.

    What are your thoughts? Have you bombed any Barbies in your day? Why do you think kids would destroy their dolls?

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Wow, that topic rocks. And I never thought of it that way but I think you're totally right- I started torturing my Barbies when I started getting embarrassed over ever having played with them seriously.
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    Member whatnot's Avatar
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    How old were you when you started being embarrassed by Barbie? Any specific stories?

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatnot View Post
    How old were you when you started being embarrassed by Barbie? Any specific stories?
    I want to say I was 8 or 9? I'm not too sure but that's my best estimate.

    I think it started with Barbie body manipulation, like squishing her head way down on her neck, and pulling her head back to make a shark face, and making her arms and legs go backwards and stuff. Then chopping off all her hair. Then when I was 10 and started shaving my legs, I discovered that you could shave Ken's hair off and he looked way funny. Then I shaved his nose and eyebrows. The final step was colluding with my brother to put the now-shorn Barbies into his model airplanes that I think he was also getting embarrassed about having played with. We would set the plane on fire, and toss it around the backyard. Come to think of it, we're pretty lucky we didn't get badly burned or set the yard on fire.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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    Member whatnot's Avatar
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    It's funny, before doing this paper, I hadn't realized how widespread an issue this was! I thought only boys destroyed Barbies. And then I remembered that I used to cut the hair of mine, give them tattoos and piercings. I would also buy the off-brand Barbies that were hollow, so I could cut of their arms and legs off easily.

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    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I tended to ignore the Barbies and chew on thier shoes!

    my sister loved to cut thier hair though and when they ran out of hair to cut, they ended up headless!
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    I've heard that serial killers have a history of:
    1. Pyromania
    2. Bed wetting
    3. Animal killing
    4. Barbie mutilation

    (It's true -- I read it online somewhere!)
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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I've heard that serial killers have a history of:
    1. Pyromania
    2. Bed wetting
    3. Animal killing
    4. Barbie mutilation

    (It's true -- I read it online somewhere!)
    Shit. I have two and a half of those! (I didn't kill animals, and I played with fire, but I wouldn't call it pyromania exactly.)
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    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    I mummified one of my barbies. She's still all wrapped up in tissues and tape and sitting at the bottom of one of my drawers somewhere... ^^
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    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatnot View Post
    Most people seem to either love or hate Barbie, with opinions ranging from "She's a role model for young girls, because she is pictured with the ability to do anything" to "She's provides an unrealistic body image and should be wiped out of existence."

    What are your thoughts? Have you bombed any Barbies in your day? Why do you think kids would destroy their dolls?
    Very good topic! Yes I did torture my few Barbies, usually by melting their legs and burning/cutting their hair.

    My mother was very adamant about my sister and I having dolls that looked like us. She told us of how when she was a child she and many other girls like her had self esteem issues because there was no way in hell they would ever live up to the blond hair/blue eyes standard of beauty.

    Within the black community there is a definite preference for lighter skinned women (i.e. Beyonce, Halle Berry, etc.) with long flowing hair. My mother once caught me with yellow pillowcase on my head and asked me what I was doing. I was pretending it was my blond hair. Our dolls were soon discontinued after that and replaced with black dolls.

    Even though the skin tone of the dolls looked like mine, the hair in no way represented my reality. I definitely had hair issues for a large part of my life until I just whacked it all off to force myself to separate my identity from my hair. It still crops up now. I remember I had a doll that when you pumped her arm up and down her hair would grow. I always ended up cutting all of my dolls hair. Eventually I just stopped because I didn't play with dolls anymore.

    I went to a discussion when I was in college where a woman gave a presentation about the politics of Barbie. Much like Coke, Barbies are represented differently cross-culturally. I think she has one of the largest Barbie collections in the world and she displayed some of them during her presentation. I was delighted to see some Barbies with kinky hair, ample bottoms, broader noses and fuller lips than what I was used to seeing. There are so many pervasive and subliminal messages that are communicated to us hourly. My mother exposed us to some of this when we were younger, but it really didn't kick into my brain until I was older. Dolls were a definite big deal in my house.
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