Barbie’s Malibu Oncology OfficeApril 5, 2012
I was watching a marathon session of Maru videos when I blacked out. I awoke days later in a cardboard box with a punched train ticket to Colorado wedged between scraped and scabbed knuckles and a note stapled to my chest saying “Find the Orb.” Obviously if I really want to know what I had done without my knowledge I would have left myself more clues, so I went back to zoning out on my computer where I found a news story about Barbie dolls, specifically that Barbie is going to have a new friend.
It appears a viral campaign on Facebook convinced Mattel to create a bald friend who lost all her hair due to cancer treatments for Barbie to… uh… I guess drive back and forth from the oncologist in her Malibu convertible. That probably came off more glib and dismissive than we would have liked, but while we like the idea of a doll representing children who are suffering from cancer and have lost their hair we question whether Barbie is the right vehicle for such a sentiment.
“Considering Barbie and her friends are built to unrealistic body proportions, it still doesn’t do a whole lot for a girl who already has body issues,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Yes, you can identify with Barbie’s friend’s hair loss, but she’s still going to have the size Negative-2 waist that you’ll never have, and those abnormally long and skinny legs with the dainty feet that could only be attained with cruel footbinding.”
“I guess with Cancer-Stricken Barbie you can sort of excuse her impossibly-thin body because of chemotherapy or the cancer just eating away at her,” says Samurai Cathy. “Which then would make you wonder what sort of cancer has Barbie been fighting all these years to look so freakish. Pancreatic? Colon? Maybe something in her brain screwing with her hormones?”
“That’s the exact same problem I had with the Wheelchair Becky friend for Barbie,” says Avonia the Wiccan Pimp. “Becky and Barbie have pretty much the same toothpick legs that shouldn’t be able to maintain any weight on them, but Barbie gets to walk and Becky has to wait outside the Barbie Dream House because her wheelchair doesn’t fit through the door. It’s not right.”
“That’s why I cut the legs off all my Barbie dolls, ” says Ninja Vicki. “Now everyone knows Wheelchair Becky’s plight! Except for Ken. He had to give everyone piggyback rides. But then I had him drawn and quartered because he got mouthy, so I replaced him with Optimus Prime because he was a tractor trailer and could tow my crippled Barbies around.”
“I don’t see what the big deal is about a bald Barbie,” says Anonymous Doug. “When I was fourteen I had like fifty bald Barbie dolls hanging naked from my basement ceiling. Some I let keep their eyes, others not so much.”
“In retrospect, I believe Evil-Lyn suffered from liver failure because her action figure’s skin was yellow,” says Mikka, referring to the 80’s Masters of the Universe line of toys. “That’s a brave choice, having a villain who so obviously suffered from severe jaundice.”
“But Barbie still won’t have any fattie friends, right?” says Bernie the Half-Cyborg Cat. “Well, that’s what Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake are for. They were always on the chunky side. And if Rainbow Brite wasn’t at least bisexual then I’d be astonished.”
No word yet on whether Barbie will get a bipolar friend who switches between paranoid mania fits that could turn tragically violent with but a mistimed word and despondent depressive valleys that prompt her friends to take every sharp object out of her house. Maybe little girls will have a diabetic friend for Barbie to pal around with until you stop buying the insulin accessory packs and she loses her feet. Hey, that means Wheelchair Becky will have a new friend to sit with her outside Barbie’s handicap-inaccessible Dream House! Another problem solved by Renal Failure! You’re welcome.