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June 21, 2010


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Kristina A.

Ok, is anyone else disturbed by the toilet-training going on in that commercial you posted? Or the "working" toilet? Why why WHY would that be a selling point? Also, it's strange/funny that the justification for that toilet is that Barbie is a babysitter -- not a mom. I guess because a babysitter gets paid?

The one and only feminist argument for Barbie that's ever worked for me is that Barbie was designed as a career woman -- that she differed from other dolls prior to her because she invited identification rather than caretaking. (Which makes the caretaking in the commercial you posted somewhat ironic.) Of course, I agree with you that this is an illusion of choice -- especially since career paths seem primarily to be about changing your clothes. And since the main point of Barbies is to make them have sex with each other and carry out elaborate soap-opera plots, the clothing is optional anyway. Or was that... just... me...?

I remember once when I was a kid, my grandmother caught me twirling my naked Barbie around by the hair. She scolded, "Don't treat your baby-doll like that!" My response (complete with eye-rolling)? "It's not a baby doll. It's Barbie."

Ben Owen

Anne suggested this off-blog, but I want to add it to the conversation because it's interesting: part of what's interesting about Ken in the movie is that it's his capacity for empathy--which goes hand in pink glove with his general sissiness--that turns him from a bad guy into a good guy. So even though his effeminacy is played consistently for laughs, which is depressing, it's also the thing that redeems him. And this contrasts with Stinky Pete from Toy Story 2, who was also kind of coded queer--in that he opposed the "natural" relationship between a kid and his toy, and had that slightly fruity Kelsey Grammar accent (go with me on this)--but was thoroughly villified for it. He wasn't effeminate so much as a sort of classic homo male villain. Ken's different, and while it is in a certain light sad that the movie heads of the possibility of his gayness, he can be seen a positive model of a sissified straight guy. That's not exactly radical, but it is something that I'd be thoroughly in support of.

Oh, and Kristina, thanks for pointing out the toilet thing. I hadn't even watched the video. That little pee yellow/sanitary blue flipping panel is really really disquieting.

watch movies

He He He Barbie washing hands and using the toilet ! well I always thought that Barbie never need to go to the toilets I don't remember me as a child taking her to do poo :) funny thing in did - and I kinda like how they build her character as a brave and independent woman

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