Even though the big media dust-up is more than a year in the past, people still come up to me wanting to talk about the comments I made that anti-aging creams are "complete pap" and "God's little way of punishing the stupid." Which, by the way, I still think is perfectly true. The other "scandal" that people seem to remember without fail dates back a few years earlier, when Mattel came after The Body Shop maintaining that our realistically proportioned doll Ruby was disparaging to their beloved Barbie.
It was this pair of events that caused a young man to approach me on a train in Sweden this week. He handed me a sheet of paper with a list of new "faux" Barbie doll models for the older set. Although I have no idea where this obvious send-up originated (somewhere on the Internet, no doubt), it made me laugh out loud, so I'm taking that stranger up on his suggestion that I share it with you:
Finally, a Barbie I can relate to. At long last, here are some new, more realistic Barbie dolls to coincide with her (and our) efforts to age gracefully. . .
1. Bifocals Barbie. Comes with Barbie's own set of blended-lens fashion frames in six wild colors (half-frames too!), neck chain, and large-print editions of Vogue and Martha Stewart Living.
2. Hot Flash Barbie. Press Barbie's bellybutton and watch her face turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear on her forehead. Includes handheld fan and tiny tissues.
3. Facial Hair Barbie. As Barbie's hormone levels shift, see her whiskers grow. Teensy tweezers and magnifying mirror optional.
4. Flabby Arms Barbie. Hide Barbie's droopy triceps with these stylish, roomy-sleeved gowns. Good news on the tummy front: Two mumus with tummy-support panels included.
5. Bunion Barbie. Years of disco dancing in stiletto heels have definitely taken their toll on Barbie's dainty arched feet. Soothe her sores with the pumice stone and plasters, then slip on a pair of soft terry mules.
6. No-More-Wrinkles Barbie. Erase those pesky crow's-feet and lip lines with a tube of Skin Sparkle-Spackle, from Barbie's own line of exclusive age-blasting cosmetics.
7. Soccer Mom Barbie. That cheerleading experience is finally paying off as Barbie dusts off her high-school megaphone to root for Babs and Ken Jr. Comes with minivan in robin's-egg blue or white and cooler filled with doughnut holes and fruit punch.
8. Mid-life Crisis Barbie. Don't look now, but it's time to ditch Ken! Barbie needs a change, and Alonzo, her personal trainer, is just what the doctor ordered -- as is that hefty bottle of Prozac. They're hopping in her new red Miata and heading for the Napa Valley to open a B&B. Includes a vintage cassette of "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do."
9. Divorce Barbie. Sells for $199.99. Comes with Ken's house, Ken's car, and Ken's boat.
10. Recovery Barbie. Too many parties have finally caught up with the ultimate party girl. Now she does 12 Steps instead of dance steps. Clean and sober, she attends meetings religiously. Comes with a little copy of The Big Book and a six-pack of Diet Coke.
11. Post-Menopausal Barbie. This Barbie wets her pants when she sneezes, forgets where she puts things, and cries a lot. She's sick and tired of Ken sitting on the couch watching the tube, clicking through the channels. Comes with Depends and Kleenex. This year, as a bonus, the book "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Self" is included at no extra charge.