I find it sadly interesting that today, the day after International Women’s Day where we celebrate women and all their wonderful contributions to the world, is Barbie Day. Barbie, that representation of all that is superficial, misogynistic, plastic, and objectifying in the historical view of women and the severe lack of reality in how society defines women. I am in favor of this particular celebration not existing.
We actually did a project a few summers ago where we took Barbie dolls and treated them like models. Ultimately, we turned them into zombies and at least one little girl was disappointed to discover she couldn’t actually get the zombie Barbie in a store.
I decided to go a different direction today though and celebrate the anti-Barbie; women who are independent and fierce, perhaps embracing an alternative lifestyle, not afraid to do things differently, to step outside the norm. These are women who wear their ink and body modifications proudly, not caring what anyone else thinks about the matter; women who define life by their own standards, set their own rules, and hold to their own sense of morality.
For too long we have limited women’s role models to those who are the elite, those who go on to college, run Fortune 500 companies, break through barriers at the top to give women more opportunity, and I’m not knocking those women in any way, shape or form; what they have done is nothing short of miraculous. But I also find strong role models in women who hold down two or three jobs to make sure their children are fed, clothed, and sheltered. I find strong role models in women who operate backhoes, drive trucks, and design stage lights. I find strong role models in women who join the military and fight to be allowed on the front lines. I find strong role models in women who struggle in the face of unending adversity and still somehow manage to hold their families together.
I don’t personally know any women who are anything at all like Barbie, and I don’t think I want to though I know they exist. Being superficial and plastic, hanging on to an ideal that was never anywhere close to reality, has no place in this or any other progressive society.
So here’s to all the anti-Barbies, the real women who aren’t afraid to be different. We love you. We thank you. We embrace you.