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Created: December 9, 2003
Latest Update: December 9, 2003
Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, December 2003.
"Fair use" encouraged.
The Naked Lady Syndrome seems to go on and on. But I guess that shouldn't surprise me. Sex and nurturing are part of life, and cultures probably couldn't and shouldn't ignore them. Katie forwarded the following descriptions of Ken and Barbie from somewhere on the Web. Remind us that culture us local. Look how many neighborhoods they've identified as having a local character that can be captured in the doll. Maybe somebody should consider this for our Spring Exhibit. Is sexuality really that localized? What about Wisconsin, UWP? Can you relate to our local Naked Lady types? Could we design a photo essay that might capture the local nature of the culture of sex, like Oscar Lewis' Culture of Poverty?
I have assumed The Web piece was a joke, although there was an advertisement for a Mary Kay sales person with it. Surely you couldn't order such dolls from Mary Kay! But then we have to consider the social significance of what makes us laugh. Is it funny? Or is it sad? When did we learn to stop laughting at racial issues and women's issues? Did we? What do the jokes tell us about the tensions in our culture. Is it OK to laugh? Is it socially acceptable to laught? Does it harm anyone if we laugh?
Seems to me this offers lots of possibilities for a Spring Project if someone is interested. jeanne On Monday, December 8, 2003, Katie Williams sent us this e-mail that seems to be going around the Web:Subject: Southern California Barbie
Mattel recently announced the release of Limited-Edition So-Cal dolls for the Southern California market:
- Irvine Barbie
This princess Barbie is only sold at The Irvine Spectrum. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a long-haired dog named Honey, and a cookie-cutter house. Available with or without tummy tuck and face lift. Workaholic Ken sold only in conjunction with "augmented" version.
- Tustin Barbie
This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone included, headset sold separately.
- Van Nuys Barbie
This recently paroled former "Porn Actress" Barbie comes with a 9mm handgun, a Ray Lewis knife, a Chevy with dark tinted windows, and a methlab kit. This model is only available after dark and canonly be paid for in cash. Preferably small, untraceable bills. Unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.
- Santa Monica Barbie
This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card, and country club membership. Also available for this set are Shallow Ken and Private School Skipper. You won't be able to afford any of them.
- Fontana Barbie
This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a NASCAR shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. She has a six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free.
- Newport Beach Barbie
This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears a leopard print bikini outfit and drinks cosmopolitans while entertaining friends at the beach house. Percocet prescription available.
- Riverside Barbie
This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of Fontana Barbie's house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, and a see-through halter top. Also available with a mobile home.
- Laguna Beach Barbie
This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her "Willow". She does not want or need a Ken doll, but you if purchase two Laguna Beach Barbie's and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag sticker for free.
- Long Beach Barbie
This Barbie now comes with a stroller and infant doll. Optional accessories include a GED and bus pass. Gangsta Ken and his '79 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant.
- Rancho Santa Margarita Barbie
She's perfect in every way. We don't know who Ken is because he's always away working.
- City of Industry Barbie
This Spanish-speaking-only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expired temporary plates and three baby Barbies in the back seat, but no car seats. The optional Ken doll comes with a meat-packer's uniform and is missing three fingers on his left hand. Green cards are not available for City of Industry Barbie or Ken.
- West Hollywood Barbie/Ken
This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the multiple "snap-on" parts.