Barbie is now post-menopausal. How’s she doing?

Do you know what Barbie’s birthday is? I do. It’s March 9,1959, and that makes her older than I am. I’m not sure why knowing that gives me such satisfaction, but it does. It’s probably because I compared myself physically to her all those years ago, and I knew with ashamed certainty that I fell short in so many ways.  Still, in all fairness, we ought to check in on the old girl to see how she’s doing now. 

When I was a little girl, I loved playing with my Barbies and all their accessories. Little did I know that my young mind was being programmed by (of all things) the Marketing machine behind a toy company. I was being re-wired to believe several not-quite-truths about womanhood, body shape, and personal wealth.

First of all, if Barbie were an actual woman, she would be 5 ft. 9 inches tall, have a 39-inch bust, an 18-inch waist, 33-inch hips and a size 3 shoe. Barbie calls this a “full figure,” and likes to keep her weight right at 110 lbs. Let me share a few other fun facts about this glam icon we all adored as little girls.

At 5’9” tall and weighing 110 lbs., Barbie would have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 16.24 and , sadly, would fit the medical criteria for anorexia. 

Here’s another fun fact (and one of my favorites): if Barbie was a real woman, she’d have to walk on all fours due to her proportions. 

“Slumber Party Barbie” was introduced in 1965 and came with a bathroom scale permanently set at 110 lbs., along with a book entitled How to Lose Weight. Inside the book were two simple words: “Don’t eat.” What she should have also come with was seed money for the therapy every little girl who had this doll surely needed when they reached their high school years.

My brother opined to me once many years ago that, since Barbie had no visible means of support but had condos, castles, sports cars, boats, horses and a swimming pool, she must be a call girl by trade. Makes sense.

Still, her physical proportions and her career choice really weren’t hers alone, so I can’t fault her for any of that. Instead, I’d like to check in on her and see how she’s fared now that’s she’s well into her 60s.

This new model of the blonde bombshell is likely named Menopause Barbie, or maybe Muffin Top Barbie. Her clothes don’t slide on as effortlessly as they did back in her youth; in fact, her slacks are uncomfortably tight across her midsection, and they sag miserably in the butt. No doubt she needs a bra by now, and a sturdy one with underwires that gouge and pinch and stab. She got a couple of tattoos back in the late ’90s, but they’ve slid farther south on her backside by now. No after. No one but a couple of her doctors sees them now, anyway.

Gold lame evening gowns and spiky 6-inch heels have yielded to stretch pants and sensible orthopedic shoes. Her hair is thin in places, and she must get her roots done every month in order to cover the ever-spreading gray. Barbie is no longer a statuesque 5 ft. 9 inches; rather she’s shrunk to a height of about 5 ft. 5 inches, and her shoulders stoop with age and from the weight of her, well you know, front. Gravity can take a toll on women that is really quite astounding.

Her social life, formerly peppered with exotic vacations and lavish parties, now consists of doctor appointments. Fun accessories for menopausal Barbie include a mammogram facility (cold steel smashing plates sold separately) and a gastrointestinal clinic for exciting colonoscopies (batteries sold separately, driver not included). No doubt, in Barbie’s new ranch house in a stylish 55+ community in southern California, there is a bottle or two of wine stashed in the kitchen.

In the interest of fairness, Ken deserves another look, too. His birthday is March 11, 1961 –  yes, making our girl Babs a cougar before her time. Ken has aged well, by the way, with just a touch of gray at the temples of his still-thick hair. His midsection is slightly thicker than his 20-year-old tummy was back in the day, but for men, well, there’s social forgiveness. It’s even expected, so who cares? Ken too, has a tattoo across his chest. His graying chest hair obscure the wrinkles just enough to make it look sexy and mysterious. 

No longer Barbie’s boyfriend (thanks to a predictable mid-life crisis) Ken and his convertible Corvette are keeping company with the gum-popping checkout girl at the corner Walgreens, where he discreetly buys his little blue pills, Grecian Formula 44, and breath mints. Word on the street is that he lives in a condo in a very trendy part of town. He and Barbie still meet on occasion for lunch, both living comfortably in the “friend zone.”

Midge couldn’t be reached for comment.

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