Barbie in the Box

Growing up in rural Minnesota, there was no guarantee we’d be able to get the latest and greatest hot new toy for Christmas or birthdays. However, our parents did a good job searching for all of the toys that we wanted. Our small southern Minnesota town had the basic stores like Ben Franklin, Woolworths, and Gambles, but no Target or Walmart. As a result, the toys we got from Santa were always a little bit “off,“ not quite what we saw on Saturday morning commercials.

For example, instead of Barbie, my twin sister and I got “fashion” dolls that talked when pulling a cord out of their neck. According to our parents, the dolls were “friends of Barbie.” My doll was “Stacy from London” and she looked just like Barbie: tall and skinny with big boobs and tiny feet molded for high-heeled shoes. I thought I was so cool to have “Stacy, a friend of Barbie, from London,” who talked with a British accent. I never questioned her validity. I’ve just always known her as Barbie’s friend Stacy from London.

Barbie has had many iterations during her 65 years as America’s favorite fashion doll. And yes, one was a Barbie using a wheelchair and Barbie’s dream house even had an elevator. That’s why I was thrilled to see a photo prop Barbie box at the movie theater where we could pose inside the Barbie box. I was determined to get inside that box if it killed me! It was barely accessible, but I made it work with my scooter. I looked like the next new Barbie doll on the shelf! Scooter Barbie here I come!

The new Barbie movie was great. The theme of the movie was all about girl power. They even had a few people with disabilities in the movie wheelchair dancing.

At the end of the movie, Barbie models all of her career costumes from doctor to astronaut to Supreme Court judge. Ken was in the movie with his friends Alan and Skipper, but there was no Stacy from London. I still have Stacy from London in a box in a closet with Chatty Cathy and a 3-foot-tall doll missing an arm and a long-forgotten name. Then the hard reality hit me – my parents had pulled a fast one on me and my sister, as it appeared there was no friend of Barbie whose name was Stacy from London. But, I think there should have been Barbie’s friend Staci from London. That’s for sure!