This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Besides never gaining an ounce, being perfectly accessorized and always smiling. Barbie’s got a list of qualifications that would give Connie Rice a run for her money. She’s got more degrees than a protractor, but with over five decades in the work force, she never felt satisfied, never felt like my job was the right match for her many talents. She’s been trained as a doctor, a nurse, teacher, model, gymnast, stewardess, presidential candidate, and astronaut (we all know how crazy they can be)…but still can’t keep a job? Like many of us she’s still searching for her authentic self: TranslationOverqualified, Underappreciated and perhaps, just a little Unfocused. RESUME 1959-60 Teenage ModelMoved on after she developed hips. 1960-61 Fashion Designer Loved the mini skirts, lunches, and trips to Paris, but decided it was more fun to wear clothes than make them 1961-62 Registered Nurse-While Barbie was on bedpan duty, Ken soaked up the “you-saved-my-life” glory from patients. Can you say “Ben Casey?” 1965- Student Teacher-Do you remember how smart she looked in those tiny cat eyeglasses? Trouble started when she realized that children could not be posed, placed behind tiny desks and expected to sit perfectly still for hours like Kelly and Stacie. 1966- Air Line Stewardess-No one should serve beer during turbulence and not get tipped. 1973- Surgeon-Made Ken feel inadequate (again). 1975 – Olympic Skater-Fell once, got up, fell again, quit. Also got wind of a youngster named 1978- Office Girl-How could they expect her to type with fingers that don’t separate? 1991- Presidential Candidate-Not permitted to wear pastels, fringe, or seethrough. Too much of a sacrifice. 1993- Police Officer-Aspired to replace Angie Dickinson, but was “let go” when she was caught doing a makeover on a shoplifter. She needed a pick me up, excuse the pun! 1994 Vet and Pediatrician (what’s the difference, really?)
1997 Dentist- Distressed to learn about molars. For chewing food? Gross. 1999- Pilot-Hat hair. Of course, the list goes on. So there you have it. Count 50-year old Barbie as still on her journey to find just the right career fit. Rumor has it that a certain wildly successful corporation has been making overtures and she just might take a stab at it. Cute uniform, mingling with the public, fast pace---Does the phrase, “Supersize Me” ring a bell?
1. Barbie’s Changing Body “For the last 49 years, I had a 2 ½ inch waist. Yesterday, I looked down at myself and couldn’t believe what I saw---a fleshy muffin top spilling over my Joe’s jeans. Even though I eat what I’ve been eating all my life, suddenly, it’s as if someone has molded clay over my hips, thighs and belly after every meal. Here are just a few of the suggestions from the diet section of “Barbie’s Guide to Menopause:” Plus-size Bob Mackie gowns, a diet of plastic food, and, of course, Barbie’s Stretch Pants Collection with a “touch” of Lycra. 2. Barbie’s Mood SwingsIs your “dream house” feeling too small; your pink convertible and “fun” furs a meaningless collection of material goods? And what’s wrong with throwing Ken’s dirty breakfast dishes in the garbage can instead of the dishwasher? I’ve got fantastic ways to either manage your mood swings, or, better yet, simply become unconcerned over whether you alienate friends and family with unpredictable outbursts and hysteria. My New Friends, Lyrica and Lexapro Try these wonder drugs—they’ll ease the transition from insanely popular plaything to lying naked at the bottom on the toy box. Other topics include:
• “Personal” Dryness in the Plastic Vagina •Insomnia-Dolls Do Come Alive at Night? •Dr. Ken-A Male Gynecologist’s Perspective (Hey Barbs, no more birth control!) •Losing Your Libido and the Keys to the Malibu Camper in One Day And Much More!!
The Format “Barbie’s Guide to Menopause” will be a small friendly-size book. It will include photos of Barbie as her body undergoes its menopausal transformation. The book will also feature illustrations, fun fonts, medical diagrams, as well as arts and crafts idea for unused pads, tampons and diaphragms. We defer the artistic packaging/photography to a woman under 30 who thinks that menopause a funny faraway experience.
The Market About 35 to 40 million women are currently going through or are past menopause. The “baby boomer” generation is expected to add another 20 million to that total in the next decade. This large audience of potential readers will love “Barbie’s Guide to Menopause” for three reasons: 1) They played with Barbie (in many cases maimed and transferred immature erotic impulses onto her as well). 2) They are a generation of women accustomed to the media telling them how to hate their bodies. 3) They would rather read a funny book than have sex.
Chapter Outlines Introduction- perhaps by a beautiful sexy woman in her 50’s who loved, played with and obviously over-identified with Barbie, such as Sharon Stone or Vanna White. Chapter OneSuddenly Fifty-A Look Back It seems like just yesterday Midge and I were content to prance around in gold lame swimsuits, listen to Herman’s Hermits and make out with Ken. The 1960’s-70’s seemed full of promise as girls shelved their Raggedy Ann’s and discovered the exciting but non-threatening world of Barbie---breasts without nipples, hairless bodies, eyes that never closed. In the 70’s to 80’s my waist twisted, I got rooted eyelashes, and started experimenting with vinyl. And, of course, the Malibu scene broke new ground as I introduced 8-year olds with the concept of a tan as a fashion accessory. Kelly, my babysitter came aboard in the 90’s. (Just because I was 30 didn’t mean I could take care of myself.) Then came the Millennium---From age 40 to 50, I had to face the truth. No amount of aerobics in lycra and tube socks could save me.
Chapter Two Even Plastic Droops A frank discussion about my body—sagging, spreading and dropping. I didn’t wear underwear for five decades. I never even owned a bra. But suddenly, I’m obsessed with “foundations” as they say in hushed tones at my favorite department stores. This chapter will cover an array of intimate apparel designed to squeeze, lift, control, and camouflage nature’s relentless course. Barbie’s new collection of under wire bras, five-way girdles, and industrial support hose will be unveiled. Chapter Three Anatomy of an Icon
A brief medical analysis of what happens inside Barbie’s body during menopause, including adorable drawings of think-pink ovaries. This chapter will also discuss Hormone Replacement Therapy Options. They’ll decrease your risk of heart disease, increase your risk of breast cancer, keep your bones from getting brittle, soften your skin, and round out your cocktail of anti-depressants. * (*This information is not offered as professional medical advice. As such, it is accurate, reliable, and is not subject to change in six months depending on the stock price of Schering-Plough.) Chapter Four – Fourteen Careers, No Commitment (See sample chapter attached) Barbie talks about her many career choices during her 50 years of “selfdiscovery.” Chapter FiveThe Menopause Club Take a deep breath everyone. Here are few other ladies born in 1959. Linda Blair Sarah Duchess of York Sheena Easton Renee Fleming Candace Bushnell Susan Faludi Tracey Ullman Emma Thompson Rosanna Arquette Marie Osmond They’re all invited to a Fabulous Fifty Party at my mansion. Imagine the chitchat…a secret guest has been invited…can you guess who??? Chapter SixYou Say Libido, I Say Lipo Sure, I’m a sex symbol. But menopause has thrown a plastic monkey wrench into the works. I admit hormones might affect my lack of desire. But having to take my clothes off is probably the thing that really stops the party. I’m not doing it unless I can spend the next forty-eight hours under the capable
hands of Dr. 90210, check into L’Ermitage for a two week recovery, get a spray tan and professional lighting. I don’t need another “make-over” or more hair accessories. I need someone to create mini lipo cannulas, tiny botox syringes, and friendly, “fillers.” Maybe then, I’ll consider having sex. In the dark. With another person. Chapter SevenThe Vagina Catalogues Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Sneeze, and you pee your pants. What the hell is happening down? I never dreamed I’d ask this, but do Depends come in fashion colors? I just spent the last two hours skimming through the “As We Change” catalogue comparing prices for kegel weights. How did “Soft Surroundings” get my address? Chapter Eight“My head is small, my brain is gray… I just forgot what I wanted to say.” It was so easy when I had a pullout cord in the back of my neck. I just said the same programmed phrases over and over. Now remembering anything is as hard as bending my elbows. Chapter NineKen, You’re Not Yourself Is Male Menopause Possible in a Eunuch? Ken arrived on my scene in 1961. By 1973 he was given facial hair as well as a selection of sideburns and moustaches to change his appearance. In the late 70’s bold and brash Ken was no stranger to leisure suits and I.D. bracelets. Biker, rocker, cowboy, Ken lived and loved. Fifty years later, he has told me in the strictest confidence, that he’s considering Viagra. “But, Ken,” I said with a wistful smile, “You’ve never had an erection in your life. In fact, you don’t have a penis.” Chapter Ten Giving Up is Always an Option So, I’m up 20 pounds? And yes, those are orthotics. And maybe I’ve been hanging out with women who dye their hair “Silver Fox” because they think it makes a statement. And no, I don’t like staying awake after 9:30 unless there’s a good Murphy Brown rerun. I’ve tried so hard and it looks like a losing battle. So, it’s finally my turn to say in the sweetest Barbie voice, “I just don’t give a shit.” This is what I
look like. I won’t wrestle with zippers and tight pants. And, yes, I might try a skirted Miracle Suit from Land’s End. Barbie’s still got a lot of living to do, and she may just want to do it in a Lane Bryant jogging set.
Other Books About Barbie Barbie Chronicles: A Living Doll Turns Forty by Yona Zeldis McDonough, Editor. (Simon and Schuster, 1999) A collection of 20 stories and five poems. Authors include Jane Smiley and Anna Quindlen. Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll by M.G. Lord. (Walker, 1994) Mondo Barbie by Lucinda Ebersole, (St. Martin’s Press, 1993) A collection of essays about Barbie. Kinky by Denise Duhamel, (Orcheses Press, 1997) This book is quite edgy. It’s a “what if” discussion of Barbie—“what if Barbie were co-dependent?” Barbie Unbound-A Parody of the Barbie Obsession by Sarah Strohmeyer, (New Victoria Publishers, Inc., 1997) Series of irreverent photos and Barbie-types, such as Welfare Queen Barbie, Grunge Barbie. There is also a film called “The Tribe” –an exploration as Barbie’s Jewishness.
About the Authors Patricia Lawler Kenet (peri-menopausal) is an attorney and writer. She is the author of “Saving Your Skin” and “How to Wash Your Face.” She has worked as a producer for Medical News Network and PBS. Patricia’s humorous essays have appeared in “The New York Times,” and “New York Newsday.” She is also a columnist for Bookslut.com. She is looking forward to using her years of experience as a medical reporter to reveal what happens when a doll turns 50. Patricia lives in New York with her husband, two children and two cats, Dean and Lili. She enjoys using food coloring to dye Barbie’s hair.
Lauren Versel (menopausal) has worked in film and television as an editor, writer, director, and producer for over twenty years. Lauren is the founder and director of Lucky Monkey Pictures, an independent production company based in New York City. Lauren wrote, produced and directed the cult hit "The Barbie Project," a history of American Popular Culture as seen through the eyes of Barbie and Ken dolls. It became a downtown event at the New York Living Theater in the 1980’s. Andy Warhol, among other well-known artists attended the show. She is currently producing a feature film “City Island” starring Andy Garcia. Lauren resides in New York City with her husband, two children, Egyptian Mao Smokey, and her estrogen patch.
Sample Chapter Chapter Four Fourteen Careers, No Commitment Besides never gaining an ounce, being perfectly accessorized and always smiling. I’ve got a list of qualifications that would give Madeline Albright a run for her money. No matter how hard I try, no matter what I achieve, there’s something inside of me that feels empty and hollow? Why is that? I’m just “Perfect Girl in the Perfect World” who has to continually prove herself. I’ve got more degrees than a protractor, but over 50 years of working I never felt satisfied, never felt like my job was the right match for my many talents. RESUME 1959-60 Teenage ModelMoved on after I developed hips. 1960-61 Fashion Designer Loved the mini skirts, lunches, and trips to Paris, but decided it was more fun to wear clothes than make them 1961-62 Registered Nurse-Shocked to learn it wasn’t just about taking the BP of hotties and watching it skyrocket when I bent over. 1965- Student Teacher-Do you remember how smart I looked in those tiny cat eyeglasses? Trouble started when I realized that children could not be posed, placed behind tiny desks and expected to sit perfectly still for hours like Kelly and Stacie. 1966- Air Line Stewardess-The uniform made me look fat. 1973- Surgeon-Made Ken feel inadequate (again). 1975 – Olympic Skater-Fell once, got up, fell again, quit. 1978- Office Girl-How could they expect me to type with fingers that don’t separate? 1991- Presidential Candidate-Not permitted to wear pastels, fringe, or seethrough. Too much of a sacrifice. 1993- Police Officer-Aspired to replace Angie Dickinson, but was “let go” when I was caught doing a makeover on a shoplifter. She needed a pick me
up, excuse the pun! 1994 Vet and Pediatrician (what’s the difference, really?) 1997 Dentist- Distressed to learn about molars. For chewing food? Gross. 1999- Pilot-Hat hair.
The Early Years Does anyone remember the “Barbie Goes to College Fantasy Fold Out Structure?” Midge and I were the first dolls to share a dorm room. Most people can’t get much studying done in a see-through baby doll negligee, but we did. I’ve been trained as a doctor, a nurse, teacher, model, gymnast, stewardess, presidential candidate, and astronaut (we all know how crazy they can be) …but still can’t keep a job? After 50 years, I’m still searching for my authentic self: Translation-Overqualified, Unfocused and Undisciplined. On the eve of my fifth decade, I realize I’ve got to use my skills and experience to find a meaningful profession. I want to get involved in a field with limited integrity, an overemphasis on appearance, and generous travel expenses. How about television news? After all, I’m no stranger to the making of an effective commercial. The problem is—nobody in his or her own right mind wants to hire a female 50-year old News Anchor. At my job interview, (for which I tried on at least a dozen outfits), my inability to speak or read was called into questions, but I persevered. “Just look at the smile! In an obvious act of pity, the news director of a local cable access channel offered me an entry-level Production Assistant position. “I know you’ve got several Master’s Degrees under your belt,” he said, “but just keep this list of Starbucks orders nearby.” I took the job. It was bad enough that on the first day of work, I found myself in a newsroom the size of a veal pen filled with 22-year olds in Hollister hoodies and Doc Martens. What really pushed me over the edge was having to worrying about wars, fires and weather systems. No thanks. Last week, I decided to take some “continuing education” courses. I scanned the community college catalogue during my bi-weekly pedi. “Poetry That Doesn’t Rhyme” sounded interesting. I imagined myself in a chic black beret, striped shirt, cigarette holder, and ballet flats in an underground café-ranting about the crisis of a widening ass in a disaffected society. Imagine---Sylvia Plath Barbie
I signed up. The classroom looked like something out of Central Casting—the 60 year-old woman in a $38,000 nutria coat working her Blackberry; a 360pounder with a t-shirt that read “I’m Not With Stupid Anymore; a guy in the back who looked like GI Joe with PTSS; the waif gently sobbing in the back; Get me out of here.
BARBIE’S MENOPAUSE TIME LINE 2000-I noticed a black hair growing on my chin. If I had pubic hair, might have seen a stray gray. 2001 – Bunion surgery from all those platforms. The doctor couldn’t believe I had been on my tiptoes for 50 years. 2002-2003- Requested Mattel to consider adding “Dr. Collette” a therapist to the collection (prescription pad, sold separately) 2004- Impulsively spent a week’s salary on a placental-based face cream 2005-Rhinestone reading glasses by Delta Burke 2006-Started receiving mail from AARP…. and didn’t throw it out 2007---Well, that’s what the rest of this book is about.
Issues of Copyright and Trademark Infringement The law firm of Strook, Strook and Lavan advised Lauren prior to the launch of “The Barbie Project” that BARBIE had entered pop culture in the way “Kleenex” had, and that Mattel can no longer interfere with the use Barbie as an object or theme in a parody. Mattel has been consistently unsuccessful in pursing legal action against artists and writers who have created parodies of Barbie. The underlying rationale is that those creations have not interfered with the sale of real Barbies and there is no reasonable expectation that Mattel produced them. For example, Mattel sued the pop band Aqua and MCA Records for the song “Barbie World” and lost. Visit this website for a summary of the court’s decision in which the judge actually told the parties to “chill.” ”http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp/documentID=16613 A federal judge dismissed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit
against a Utah artist who used Barbie dolls in his photographs “Food Chain Barbie” for social commentary. See also, Mattel v. Walking Mountain Productions where a photographer was permitted to use Barbie images in his work. “Barbie’s (unauthorized) Guide to Menopause” is an obvious parody.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.