Thursday, 6 August 2009

Buy a handbag - Relive your childhood

Long before the tellytubbies, in the night garden or bratz dolls, there was barbie. When I was a little girl I loved my barbie dolls; I had a barbie mansion, a barbie sports car, even a little barbie wardrobe. I think it was barbie that sparked my obsession with shoes, for where by sisters would select whole barbie outfits, I would buy five pairs of little pink barbie shoes, and leave my doll naked from the ankles up. My barbies got married, divorced, had great jobs and babies and great friends. They travelled to the moon, and to the beach (sometimes in the same day!) and always had time for icecream; it was a wonderful world!
Check out this listing I found on ebay! A seven year old me would be in heaven!
I tell you these stories of happy barbie-obsessed childhood days, because I relived them all when I saw the "Barbie loves Pauls Boutique" collection by Pauls Boutique, celebrating 50 years of everyone's favourite doll. Although these bags were launched last month in Selfridges, they arrive at ASOS on Monday, meaning anyone not living in London, or not wanting to leave the comfort of their computer chair can get their paws on one:
There are also baby pink and zebra print versions that I am struggling to find pictures of. They are very distinctively Pauls Boutique aren't they? They're also so trashy and awful that it actually (sort of, almost) works! And what better tribute to the doll who'se spent so many years trapped in the back of my cupboard wearing leopard print trousers and fushcia taffeta!?
Can I see myself buying one of these and walking around the town? Realistically no, it's a little too cutesy for me. But I also disagree with several feminist bloggers that have written negative things about the bags infantalising women or encouraging negative body images.
To me, this bag is for all the girls that wanted a barbie backpack, but had a sensible hardwearing one from Adams instead. It about reminiscing over memories not quite lost or, dare I say it, still enjoying the concept of playing with dolls as a grown up! Carrying one doesn't make you a "barbie girl" or a "bimbo". It's such a shame that anyone buying this bag will have to justify why they did, when in actual fact, it's entirely up to them!
As far as i'm concerned, any women (independent or not, because its still up to you to choose) can dress how they please, buy the bags they want, and celebrate the icons that they cherish, without fear of being seen as 'infantalised' or 'being associated with a childrens toy'. And, on a final note, being a feminist doesn't mean you can't like barbie! The ability to like what you like without gender stereotype means that you can buy whichever cutesy bag or t shirt you like. Now where is my rainbow brite top.....
Lots of love,
Tor xx


Make Do Style said...

Indeed! There is still a terrible feminist tendency to concern itself with feminine dress choice rather than tackle gender discrimination and also explore the feminine world/space not just reflect masculine patriarch ideas of what is right, proper, worthy etc.

I was deeply uncool and loved Sindy x

everybodysaysdont said...

I was also more of a Sindy fan, she seemed more lifelike to me, She seemed more classy and English to me! (I had a brunette and a redhead Sindy as well as 2 Barbies and Skipper (sister) Sindy became more "Barbie like" over the years. I had the Barbie house too - best Christmas ever!!!

KD said...

You have a talent for phrasing things so well!

noirlettes said...

I love the Barbie purses!
their only in London?