Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Does the name Barbara Millicent Roberts ring a bell? I daresay not. I for one was totally blur about this trivia.
But we all know BARBIE. Folks, it's HER! That's her real name! It's a name synonymous with doll, fashion and play. 50 years to be exact. Barbie even has a birthday -7 March, 1959. She has enamoured countless fans , filled a spot in their lives too, especially the growing up years. Some love her to bits!
Didn't we play with paper dolls and had memorable hours of enjoyment dressing them up till the paper tabs were worn? Ruth Handler observed her little girl, Barbara at play and giving adult roles to her paper dolls. She instinctively felt there was need to make a doll for her daughter to play. Out of her ideas, Barbie was born and Mattel Inc. was founded. The rest, like they say is history.
Today, there's no signs of Mattel slowing dwn. It is the largest toy company in the world. According to sources at Christie's, 3 Barbie dolls are sold every second!! Barbie has generated much interest. I read she's listed at number 43 on the list of ` The Most Influential People Who Never Lived' ! ! That's material for discussion. Others include the Malboro Man and Luke Skywalker.
My children grew up on a staple of stories other than Barbie. They loved the dolls, clothes, and the accessories I bought them. Barbie gave them lots of fun and play. If you've been in a crowd of children who love Barbie, you'd soon realize they truly love their doll.
My interest in Barbie was renewed recently. I ws asked to do storytelling for the new Barbie season. Have been doing the same for several seasons when Barbie is ready to spill the thrills. This season is Barbie ~ Thumbelina.
In Thumbelina, there's the eco -message of preserving the natural lansdcape besides the themes of friendship, co-operation and other values. My role as a storyteller is to let the message reach out to the kids. After all, they love Barbie and I'm the link as they listen.
An activity I liked about the new Barbie season was the dressing up. A child said she loved 'the makeover' as she patiently waited for her turn. Kids chose their favourite clothes and the make up artistes were at hand to apply the rouge, lipstick, style the hair for the kids to 'live' their dreams. The tiara seemed to crown it all with their winning smiles too. Of course, the cameras clicked non-stop while they posed. It was a time to enjoy the moment. Bagful of memories on an outing with Barbie.
Back to Barbie's birthday. She celebrated it with much pomp and grandeur. A 6 storey emporium in Shanghai, a pink Barbie flagship store opened to coincide with her birthday. It targets 3-8 year old, teenagers and yes, mums too.
Incidentally I spotted a t -shirt for adults among the clothes whilst I was among the Barbie fans/admirers. Hey, I was tempted to buy one for myself. It was sweet, understated and suits my taste. But I decided to keep my money. Next time, I will sport Barbie!
Ok, Birthday Girl, my love affair with you has to end, at least for now. You are always around. And I bet, you'll be for a long time...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BARBIE!