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Barbie’s Birthday

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By Jacqui Markowitz

RISMEDIA, March 12, 2009-Barbie is turning 50! Now here’s a girl who just keeps getting better and better. She has had over 50,000 makeovers since her birth in 1959. Now that’s what I call re-inventing yourself. The truth is, Barbie has likely had as many careers as she’s had hairstyles. She changes with the times, keeps up with current trends, explores new interests, keeps fit, maintains her beauty, and remains true to herself. Barbie has a strong core and an impeccable mindset that she uses as a springboard to develop and grow in all sorts of directions. I say, that is a feat worth emulating.

How many of us girls grew up playing with Barbie? I had a Barbie and a Skipper doll, and a blue case which not only had a spot for them to live, but a closet and tiny hangers to keep their clothes tidy and a drawer to place shoes and accessories. My blue Barbie box morphed into SAM – Secret Agent Man – and Barbie, Skipper, my friend from down the street and I would hop over the backyard fence into the open field and solve mysteries. We were the Nancy Drew’s of our time, armed and dangerous. Who knew we were the predecessors of Ms. Congeniality and Angelina Jolie. Barbie enjoyed her time in the private eye-profession, but eventually retired, preferring the life of a prom queen. The wardrobe choices were much more appealing.

I think I’ve had almost as many career and hair changes as Barbie, but hardly the same entourage of beauty professionals, and alas, no personal trainer either. Barbie looks darned good for 50. Sarah Hampson from the Globe and Mail, ‘interviewed’ Barbie on her big birthday, and here’s what she said:

“In many ways, I have come to embody modern mature womanhood. We all juggle various roles in our lives, and we never know what we’ll have to be next. One minute you’re a gourmet cook in a dream house, then you’re dressed up in a party dress for a glam event, next thing you know, you’re firing off e-mail directives from work. We have all worn many hats, or rather, outfits and shoes. (Speaking of which, I have more than one billion pairs.) I am prescient, really. I mean, look at all the women my age who are embracing plastic, when I did that at the beginning.”

She’s also back together again with Ken. They split briefly after 43 years. Barbie was apparently sick and tired of his hair and his constant need to go scuba diving. He came back to her restyled. If only life were that simple!

Here’s the thing. We can say what we will about Barbie, but she has remained a strong icon of a beautiful, independent woman. She’s been a nurse, a doctor, n astronaut, she has run for President, carried a briefcase, climbed mountains, travelled widely, all while maintaining her cool demeanour, classic looks and wearing heels! Barbie has a great frame of mind.

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