It was something Monique Marvez, author of Not Skinny, Not Blonde, said that got me going on this Not Barbie: Not Married to Ken kick.
It was so true. Just like Monique, I always wanted to be skinny. I always wanted to be blonde.
The real truth: I always wanted to be Barbie! Barbie had it all. She was beautiful, skinny, blonde and rich. She had a great house, great clothes, great car and always attended fabulous parties—at the beach, at the hotel.
And I’m sure I’m not the ONLY girl who had this dream.
But even better…Barbie had Ken. Ken. Ken the most handsome doll in all the land. I can’t tell you how many times Ken and I walked down the aisle in my imagination. I spent hours envisioning life with a perfect husband like Ken. There had to be a picket fence and 2.5 kids somewhere in that picture.
And then it happened. Being Barbie and Ken didn’t seem idyllic anymore. Barbie and Ken broke up. The break-up happened right before Valentine’s Day (can you imagine) in 2004. Supposedly Barbie—the most admired doll in the world—did the dumping (at least according to the AP wire). The two had been a pair for 43 years and without warning they were kaput, splitsville, finished.
A Mattel spokesperson told reporters, “They had grown apart." "Needed some time alone." "Were going their separate ways." "They would remain friends."
I couldn’t believe the news. Barbie. Ken. The end. But those two had ridden off into the sunset in their pink convertible. Not Barbie and Ken. No.
To make matters worse within a few months Barbie hooked up with a boy-toy surfer dude named Blaine.
I’m not sure who started the gay rumor. Poor Ken.
But reportedly, Ken took it like a doll—er man.
Instead of lashing out or seeking revenge, he sought to improve himself.
In 2006 (again I totally missed this announcement) the new Ken stepped out at a Manhattan news conference. The AP wire buzzed again, “The new and improved Ken sported a more rugged jaw line, wore cargo pants and listened to Norah Jones.”
Some reporter mentioned Barbie’s ex now rode a motorcycle while another claimed that Ken “dabbles in Buddhism.” Yet another reporter told her viewers the doll had taken cooking lessons and might help in the kitchen. But there was more. Ken, no longer content with being perfect, regularly worked out. Ken Doll returned to the scene buffed. Ken was now toting a six-pack.
Yet Barbie still hasn’t taken him back. She even tweated about it. “For the hundredth time, I promise I'm not with Ken! I'm very much single and actually talking to a new boy right now...”
What appeared to be a match made in heaven—two perfect people living two perfect lives—is all pretend. Finally I have seen the light.
Forget it Barbie. You may be beautiful, skinny, blonde and rich, but now I see who you really are—fake, fickle and hungry. No thank you. And Ken, sweet adorable Ken. I no longer pine for you, for what women in her right mind wants to be with a doll more beautiful than she? Oh yes. I now regularly shout my new mantra, “I am not Barbie and not married to Ken.”