By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
Every one of us, for better or worse, is familiar with Barbie dolls.
Barbie and Ken (and sometimes Skipper) are fixtures of American culture. Barbie dolls have a variety of vocations, each with sets of clothes and accessories that fit the career being portrayed. For example,Teacher Barbie includes a Barbie, an outfit with shoes, flash cards, an Italian quiz, an easel, a notebook, a key chain, and a hairbrush. Each career is created to give children the option of exploring new careers and help them learn new things.
But did you know that there are locally defined versions of Barbie?
As with the vocationally defined and equipped Barbies, each one comes with the clothes and accessories that fit the community being portrayed.
As you might guess, each area is stereotyped and the dolls express many of the worst – or most obvious – generalizations.
Seattle’s Barbie is, as you might expect, an upscale urban condo-dweller.
Tacoma’s Barbie, true to form, is a single mother of two, each with slightly different coloration. (See picture.) She, of course, has the essentials of a single mother in Tacoma – a bus pass and a GED. It look like she has a cigarette in her mouth.
You can see the details and other community profiles here:
And yes, this is satire. But sometimes satire shows us the truth as nothing else can.