Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Barbie For President

            When I was little I spent hours playing with Barbie. My best friend and I would make up all sorts of scenarios, where Barbie was somehow challenged, but she always made it through with fashion and grace. I suppose you could say my writing career began with Barbie, because it was through her that I used my imagination to create countless stories with her as the star.

            So, when I heard Barbie was running for president, of course my interest was piqued.

I’m sort of a political junkie; I follow presidential campaigns as if they’re sporting events. I also still like Barbie. She’s extremely glamorous, and her clothes fit so well. Besides, how many women can claim as many careers as she’s had? There’s actually a Wickipedia page that lists out her entire professional resume. It will take too long to list all her work experience, but here’s a random sampling: sign language teacher, dentist, paratrooper, ambassador for world peace, Canadian Mountie, paleontologist, Nascar driver, scuba diver, McDonald’s cashier, Sea World dolphin trainer, and a Marvel comics superheroine.

            So, really, who do know that is more qualified to be president? Barbie is in touch with the working class, but she has her finger on the inner workings of our economy. She understands how our country works, and she’s got hands-on experience to back up her book knowledge.

            Too bad she’s made of plastic.

            Barbie actually has her own blog that is chronicling her run for office. She’s run for president every four years since 1992. This year her platform is for young girls to “B inspired, B informed, and B involved.”

            She claims that she’s the only candidate who can stand on her own. That doesn’t make sense to me. I played with a lot of Barbies in my day, and none of them could stand. Is she going for irony with that slogan, or am I missing something?

            Anyway, my two-year daughter, Pauline, is already showing signs of being into Barbie. She’s found a “teacher” Barbie I got as a joke gift many years ago, before I began teaching high school. Now Pauline grabs it by her hair and drags it around the house. And that’s fine. There are many worse things to be into than Barbie.

            I had so many wonderful hours playing with Barbie as a child, and I don’ think my self-image suffered for it all. Instead, my imagination grew. The one thing I will want Pauline to understand, however, is that Barbie is perfect only because she is not real. The rest of us are flawed, and that’s the way we should be. We can’t expect our leaders to have hundreds of careers, never gain weight, and always look well-groomed.

We can’t expect it of ourselves either. We come with quirks, and that’s what makes life interesting.

            So while I still love Barbie, I’m not voting for her.

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