It's hell sharing a birthday with a legendary superstar - especially one that doesn't appear to have aged in 50 years. No, really....she hasn't aged in 50 years!
If you haven't heard by now, Barbie, the impossibly slender doll with freakish feet and bizarre bust and waist measurements, turns 50 years old this week. And although our birthdays are one month apart - it's still hard not to compare myself with this inconoclastic piece of plastic.
The Barbie-turns-50 celebration got off to a fabulous start last week in New York during Fashion Week, when 50 top designers including Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenburg, Kenneth Cole, Anna Shui and Baby Phat dressed blond ponytailed models up in clothes created for specifically for the doll, and pranced them out on the catwalk to Aqua's "I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world, Life in plastic, it's fantastic."
The effect, shall we say, was really a little unsettling, as was the audience commentary. "She's the first Botox bitch," America's Next Top Model judge J. Alexander tells E!Online News. "I think she looks absolutely great. [In fashion], she's proof that you can make everything look great 50 years later."
This is what we real women have to compete with?!
Given that, as Mattel claims, 90 percent of all girls between the ages of 3 and 10 currently own a Barbie, and God know how many of us through the years had at least one Barbie -- that's a lot of image influencing on female minds and bodies.
It's no wonder that back in 1997, a San Francisco Examiner writer coined the term "Barbie Syndrome," which is defined by Wikipedia as "a term used to loosely describe the desire to have a physical appearance and lifestyle representative of the famous Barbie doll."
Barbie Syndrome most offer refers to young girls. But since she's been around for 50 years now, there's no telling how much psychic damage Barbie has left in her wake. And it's not just Barbie's eternally youthful skin and figure, but her out-of-this-world "accomplishments" as well. 108 careers (from doctor, to vet to presidential candidate), 50 pets, and a 43-year long on-again-off-again relationship with one man - Ken.
That's one hard doll to live up to. It's no wonder people enjoy messing with Barbie's perfect image by creating their own versions -- a past time being celebrated this week by listeners and readers of NPR's Soapbox blog, under the headline "Public Radio Barbie."
However, if you dig deep into Barbie's bio --- there is one thing all her youth, beauty, and job-getting skills have not brought her -- but which a vast majority of 50 year old women have.
Take that, Barbie. Who's gonna love and take care of you when you get old? Even if you will never look a day over 23.