Saturday, 21 February 2009

Barbie's fiftieth

Barbie was first launched on March 9th 1959 and is about to celebrate a milestone birthday. How will she cope with the menopause, HRT, a thickening waistline (about time!), the first grey hairs, varifocals, achieving crone status, becoming invisible in queues, Ken running off with a younger doll, and kids leaving the nest?

As a child I never wanted a Barbie. The only one I've ever owned was a purple-robed, impossibly blond graduation Barbie, an ironic gift from a feminist friend when we finished our part-time degrees as mature students at Central St Martins School of Art. It sat in its box on a dusty shelf in my studio for some years, but I can't find it now and may have given it rather guiltily to the little daughters of a neighbour. Thus are stereotypes propagated.

The only Barbies I would covet are these, snapped in 1995 in a micro exhibition to celebrate London Fashion Week.

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