There are women reading this who are over 70 years-old who played with Barbie dolls.
But sadly, after ruling over the dollhouse since the 1950s, Barbie is dying.
According to Forbes magazine, Mattel, Barbie's parent corp., says the company's biggest problem is its declining Barbie sales. Worldwide gross sales for the Barbie brand were down 14 percent.
Mattel is trying desperately to keep her alive, saying, "Barbie has been brain dead for 56 years, so why is her old boyfriend Ken so anxious to pull the plug now?"
Ken is claiming Barbie spoke to him in doll talk many years ago and said that she did not want to hang on once her worldwide sales fell.
Barbie wanted to go off to doll heaven where she could join all those other washed-up dolls of yesteryear, dolls like Raggedy Ann and Teddy Bear, Betsy Wetsy, Tickle Me Elmo, and those hideous Cabbage Patch kids.
Mattel Corp. claims Ken has no right to pull the plug, since he was discontinued by the toy company 10 years ago and has been replaced by a new love in Barbie's life, an Australian surfer named Blaine.
Ken argues he was Barbie's "boyfriend" for 45 years and they would have married and had many children, but he has always been hampered by the fact that he has no penis.
Ken went on to say, "If Barbie and I weren't children of the repressed '50s, our life would have been so, so much more fun. Hell, all these years I couldn't figure out why we both had those stupid smiles on our faces. If only we had been anatomically correct in the wild 1970s."
Ken spoke to this reporter of his plans to file an age-discrimination lawsuit against Mattel for dropping him at the ripe old age of 45. "I'm out of work. They [Mattel] used me — made millions of dollars from me and then they replaced me with that idiot Blaine from Australia."
I know those Mattel executives. They probably sat around and giggled, "Let's dump old, honest, reliable Ken. Let's replace him with an Australian. Let's put another shrimp on the Barbie."
Ken said he also plans a sex-discrimination lawsuit against Mattel, claiming that he was deprived of a penis for 45 years. He added, "I never had a chance to express any sexual preference. I never knew where I stood. Did I want Barbie? Did I want her girlfriend Skipper? Both of them at the same time? Or maybe I would have been happier cuddling in the jungle with GI Joe. Heck, if it worked out with Joe, we could have been happily married today. We could have had our wedding announced in the Sunday New York Times. Mattel took away my choice and now they must pay for it."
Ken's lawyer went on to say they have a great case and since Mattel is based in California, the case can be tried in front of a typical California jury. He then added, "That means Ken will have an opportunity to plead his case before a jury of his true peers — empty-headed, blond, plastic people."
As I was writing, my wife, the Beautiful Judy Licht, read this over my shoulder and it made her very sad. Barbie was one of her closest childhood friends.
She has a message for Barbie.
Here it is:
Barbie, you have been the big sister we always tried to look like, and later on, tried to emulate. When having a career became important to us, you took action. There was "Doctor Barbie," "Basketball Barbie" even "TV Reporter Barbie." And you managed to juggle a career, a fabulous wardrobe, and meaningful relationships with your girlfriend, Skipper, and your boyfriend, Ken, always with your hair looking perfect, and with a smile on your face.
No rings under your eyes! Never a "Whiny Barbie." No "Depressed Barbie." No "Stay-in-Bed-All-Sunday-and-Eat-a-Gallon-of-Haagen-Dazs Barbie." No sir!
You see, the sad truth is that no matter how fabulous you look – and you don't look a day over 23 – this is still a country that worships youth. No matter that most of the money and almost all of the power resides with those over 40. Heck, Barbie, you represent the largest number of people in this country!
But let's face it, the ugly truth is that men over 40 rarely want to play with women over 40, and, apparently, neither do their children. Those ungrateful little apples don't fall far from their paternal trees.
So what to do, Barb? We think we have an idea to help you out, old friend. We think it's time for "Menopause Barbie," a newer, slightly moodier Barbie. Not only do your arms and legs move, your smile does too. First a smile, then a frown, then back to a smile again. Kinda keeps everyone around you on their toes.
And, no, your always-perfect legs would never, ever show an ounce of cellulite. But maybe an occasional varicose vein or two would add a touch of color to those bland, beige legs.
And if that doesn't work, you could be the new, improved "Zoloft Barbie" whose smiles, in spite of all these changes, would outnumber your frowns on most days.
Maybe the kids won't want to play with you that much anymore, but their moms and aunts sure will. Because once again, you'll become a role model for a whole generation of us.
Can the new, improved "Viagra Ken" be far behind?
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