A Barbie Revolution (Part 1 of 5)

Written by Sloss House volunteer, Ashley Schmuecker, The Barbie Revolution will be posted in 5 installments over the next week.  This piece is fictional, any similarities between this piece and actual events is considered coincidental.  Each post will go live before 12pm Monday through Friday.  Questions or comments? Post them here or email: womenctr@iastate.edu.

Barbie Revolution

Mia Hunt was arrested on September 21, 2009 at 1:39 in the morning of the parking lot of Glenbrooke Mall, along with three other women. Four others had fled the scene, and have since remained anonymous.

Mia Hunt was convicted of unlawful assembly, trespassing, criminal mischief and vandalism, and interference with official acts.  For six months prior to the night of her arrest, Mia and the other revolutionaries met two or three times each week to devise their plans to break into the toy store of Glenbrooke Mall and liberate each one of the eighty-seven Barbie dolls.  I was able to sit down with Mia, to uncover the planning and implementation of the Barbie Revolution, and how she has reacted to the overwhelming support in the aftermath of her arrest and conviction.  What follows is the story of the Barbie Revolution, as told by Mia Hunt.

So Mia, how did the Barbie Revolution start?

I was watching Hugh Hefner’s bimbo dolls on some HBO special with my ex.  They’re Barbie replicas, y’know? The super-long, platinum-blonde hair. Their waxed bodies held up by those obnoxious five inch heels.  They all talk in this shrill, screeching, ugh… you get the picture.  So, yeah; we were sitting there and my ex takes a swig of his 1554 dark ale and says, “God, I’d love to nail one of those chics. Mia, you could totally pull that look off, right? Just dress yourself up like a god-damned Barbie”.  Before I could get up to storm off, he slapped my ass.  His deep chuckle let out a stale stench of alcohol.  I locked myself in the bathroom and lingered in front of the mirror. My reflection was a sharpened image focused on my imperfections.  My deep frown lines and forehead creases, the grey circles under my eyes, the way my boobs hung loosely and in opposite directions under my pale tank-top.  Suddenly, everything seemed to click for me.  Why I had always dated douche bags, why women are mutilating their bodies to fit into this perfect mold crafted for us by society… and I realized it all started with Barbie.  I have a five year old niece.  Cutest little shit around.  My brother buys her god-awful amounts of Barbie dolls.  Not to mention every accessory: the miniature oversized handbag, clear and sparkly high heels, heart-shaped sunglasses; you name it, Barbie has it.  And so does Anna.  Little Anna gets replica jean jacket and mini-skirt outfits, straw-colored wedges, and blue eye shadow and pink lipstick.  She is five years old.  I’m surprised my sister-in-law hasn’t exploited the poor girl on that reality show ‘Toddlers in Tiaras’.  But yeah… that’s how this started.  The Barbie doll can no longer be the role model for young girls who grow up to have no self-esteem and become ego-service for men.  I realized something had to be done.

So, you began recruiting?

Hell yes! I knew I couldn’t pull this off on my own.  I phoned up my best friend Sasha and we got together and started brainstorming the best way to make some sort of a public demonstration.  Something big.  Something people wouldn’t forget.  And, mostly, we wanted the message to go straight to little girls; they’re the ones fueling the Barbie industry.  After a couple weeks of dumb ideas and an empty bottle of So-Co, at three in the morning on a Thursday, I hear what sounds like someone breaking my door down.  It was Sasha.  She barreled in, out of breath, and was holding a discarded Barbie doll.  The hair was chopped real short and colored blue.  Little freckles had been dotted on her cheeks and one of those fake unicorn tattoos from a fifty cent machine had been put on her stomach.  Sasha didn’t even have to say anything.  I knew this is what we would do.  We’d make Barbie real.  We’d liberate her from her perfection.  We’d let little girls know its okay to have freckles, shaved heads, birth marks, or small breasts.  We started making phone calls that instant and over the next month rounded up six other women to start the Revolution.

Stay tuned for the continued saga tomorrow!


About Margaret Sloss Women's Center - ISU

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center promotes equity on the Iowa State University campus. Through a feminist lens, the center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support, referrals, community and programming; and maintains a safe space in the Sloss House.

Posted on November 29, 2010, in Activism, Arts and Crafts, Body Image, Feminism and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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