I’m Not A Barbie Girl, In The Barbie World

Last week I went to the toy store to buy a birthday present for my son to take to a classmate’s party.  Normally, buying a present isn’t an issue.  If it’s for a boy, I usually get something my son is obsessed with such as Lego Hero Factory or Matchbox cars, because more times than not, his friends are just as obsessed too.  However, this present was for a five-year-old girl. Uh-oh!

I have to say I was a bit stumped as what to get this little girl.  She’s a girly girl, something I know nothing about, since I was a bit of a tomboy growing up.  When I asked my son what I should get her, he told me that she “liked that Barbie girl.”

I thought, okay no problem, I’ll go get her a Barbie doll and be done in no time.

Boy was I wrong.

As I walked down the huge Barbie aisle at the toy store, I was totally overwhelmed by the hundreds of products to choose from. Plus, that song “Barbie Girl” by Aqua started playing in my head:

I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic!
you can brush my hair, undress me everywhere
Imagination, life is your creation

Barbie is over 50 years old (oh, and you know she’s had some work done!) and she hasn’t spent all of her time on the beach, in fact, she’s had over 100 different careers on her “resume.”  Currently, I could choose Barbie as a ballerina, pancake chef, hairdresser, lifeguard, doctor, veterinarian, actress, or ice skater.  Her past careers include being an astronaut, NASCAR driver, paleontologist, and even a presidential candidate!

Just a smidge of the Barbie aisle at the toy store

She’s also had a lot of transportation options to choose from including a pink convertible, canopy horse-drawn carriage, camper, Vespa and Jeep.  And let’s not forget her various deluxe accommodations including the Dreamhouse, beach house and vacation house.  Oh, and I haven’t even touched upon all the non-doll-related Barbie products including bicycles, clothing, suitcases, DVDs, makeup, musical instruments and purses.

I was in that toy store, no joke, for 45 minutes trying to figure out what to get.  Should I get her a Barbie doll? Barbie vehicle? Barbie house? Barbie clothes?  I wound up asking some moms and their daughters who came down the aisle for their own Barbie shopping sprees for their gift suggestions.

I ultimately wound up getting a Barbie I Can Be…Art Teacher Doll which came with her own easel and paint brush, which using cold water can color change the easel panel.  I thought it was a “safe” profession rather than what I considered one of her more frivolous or “pretty girl” career options of fashion model or rock star.

Now, I do have a daughter, but she’s only two and half.   Though she does have three Barbies — all received as gifts, mind you — she’s not really into playing with them at this point, well, aside from taking their clothes off:

I couldn’t find beach Barbie’s top, and since this is a “G” rated blog and not the French Rivera where you can go sunbathing topless, I opted for a Dora Band-Aid

I guess she’s still too young to get wrapped up in all things Barbie.  However, if she does turn out to be a Barbie girl, this mom is now primed and ready, although I’d better be prepared to bring some plastic of my own to enter her universe!

Now it’s your time to share….do your kids or did you play with Barbie?  What’s your kidlets favorite toy right now?

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  1. Erin says

    I played with Barbies endlessly with my sister, my friends and my cousins, well into my teenage years. I didn’t care what career or role the Barbie in the box played; as soon as she was out of the box she had whatever style and interest I gave her. All I cared about was having ones with different colored hair and skin tone so I could tell them apart. I spent my allowance on furniture (and sometimes outfits) but the part that stays with me today, and what I taught my kids to do, is that we created homes, furniture and vehicles with the objects we find around the house. Shoeboxes became cars, candy boxes (especially whitmans) became beds, the pompoms on my mom’s tennis socks became throw pillows on the couch. So much more fun to see how creative we could be with everyday objects we found around the house. My mom was a little dismayed with our most ingenious creation: a 1980s era superthick Kotex pad makes an EXCELLENT Barbie-sized single-bed mattress.

  2. says

    I loved Barbies when I was growing up.. my 7 yr old daughter, on the other hand, is a total tom boy and prefers to play with her brothers’ trucks and cars than play with Barbies or any kind of dolls for that matter. It’s a little disappointing for me. I’ve bought her a few Barbies but the just end up at the bottom of the toy box.. all sad and a lone!
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    • TheHarriedMom says

      I was a tom boy growing up and my daughter is a bit of one herself – she likes to play with cars, trains and trucks, but that is because that’s what her big brother plays with all the time. I’m hoping that she’ll be into dolls and other – dare I say it “girl” stuff – so that I can get a second chance at childhood too and play with all the things that I now wish I did when I was her age!

  3. says

    I’m pretty sure I had a few barbies here and there when I was growing up, although (and dare I say it and confess my age), I think I was more into cabbage patch kids. And swimming, since we had a pool. Who has time to mess with dolls when you can be swimming? What’s funny is that my mother is a serious Barbie collector, I mean, addict. So much so that when they had their house built, my Dad built and extra room, JUST FOR HER DOLLS!. She used to give them to me as gifts (even into my late 20’s) and I hated having to pull them out and display them every time she visited. Finally, about 6 years ago, I simply told her no more. She was disappointed that I really had no interest in inheriting her doll collection someday, and although it was a struggle getting her to admit it, she finally did. So luckily, there isn’t a single barbie left in my home, and I’m SO glad I had a boy.

    • TheHarriedMom says

      I guess collecting Barbies is like collecting glassware or Hummels (do people still collect those, my mom had a few). I do have one Barbie of my own, I won it a few years back from some contest I entered, I guess tied to her 50th anniversary. It’s one of the classic Barbie styles. She’s in the bod bathing suit, and she’s NEVER been out of the box. I’m not a collector at all, and she will be played with by my daughter one day, but hopefully when she can appreciate it a little better!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      See, I wouldn’t think it’s about having different types of Barbie dolls, I’m much more interested in all of her “things” – like the Dreamhouse, camper, horses, Vespas & everything….

  4. says

    My FIL sent my daughter (at age 2) the entire set of Princess Barbies for Christmas. She has a great time taking off their shoes and Rapunzel’s hair is a tangled mess. Barbies overwhelm me too!!

    Love the Dora bandaid as tube top. ;P

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Hair is a big thing at our house too, it’s always tangled and matted. I’m just waiting for my daughter to give her a haircut!

  5. says

    I recently sent my husband to get a birthday present with the directions “any barbie is fine,” when I should have said “almost any barbie is fine.” He chose the Barbie potty-trains or something like that, complete with toilet.

    All just to say, glad you took your time and got a “good” barbie!
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    • TheHarriedMom says

      Haha! Typical guy! I totally know what you mean….there was a Barbie there with a washer and dryer – so the Laundry Barbie I guess, not a winner in my book!

  6. says

    I was a total Barbie girl with 100+ doll, several vehicles, and lots of accessories. My daughter just turned 5 and is just starting to discover Barbie in all her glory.

    I have the same problem when we need to pick out a gift for a boy. My son is only 1, so boy things are foreign to me.
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    • TheHarriedMom says

      OMG – 100+ Barbies! I’ll definitely come back to you for some Barbie advice. I didn’t get my first Barbie – ironically called “My First Barbie” until I was 13 and she stayed mainly in her original packaging. I was much more into playing with the little Star Wars figures.

      I’m a Matchbox car, Lego, dinosaur and Superhero pro….since my son is always educating me about the latest toys he wants!

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