The other day I found myself having a conversation with my hairstylist about what her three year old daughter got for Christmas this year. I was rather shocked to find out that this child, of the year 2015, had asked Santa for Barbie dolls! Barbie?! Seriously, the youth of today is still paying attention to her?
The more I thought about Barbie the more I wondered at how this, "little lady," has endured the passage of time. Another example was presented to me when a co-worker came to work with a brand new hot pink puffer parka. The color of this garment was quite striking and by the end of the work day most people where referring to her as our, "Greenhouse Barbie." Despite the range of ages working at the nursery, there was no confusion as to whom this pink coat reminded us of.
I guess the question I would like to present is, how did she do it? How did Barbie transcend time to become an icon, "it," girl? During the course of my lifetime there have been many of these type of girls. These ladies range from names like Molly Ringwald, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears, and Kim Kardashian. Often fashion icons suddenly come into style and inevitably always disappear. So the question remains, how has Barbie maintained? Why is she still relevant to society today?
My best guess is that she doesn't age. Unlike her iconic peers, Barbie has been able to maintain her flawless appearance, and unmarred character. This is extremely important to a society that places so much importance on the beauty and virtue of women. No matter what the year, Barbie remains perfect.
In addition, Barbie has been able to easily adapt to the trends of the times. Unlike mortal trendsetters, she has been able to adjust her appearance to match the ideal of each decade. One can see these changes in the images I included in this post. The first image is the Barbie of the 1950s, whereas the last is from the 1990s. On a side note, I found it fascinating that the 1950s Barbie was a near perfect representation of the modern day hipster. Proving, once again, fashion really does recycle itself.
I knew I was destined to credit Barbie as a fashion icon when I found myself at Savers staring at the scarf I'm wearing in this post. There she was again...Barbie!...and I had no doubt about who she was. Of course, I would feel really stupid if someone told me my scarf was actually a representation of Betty from the, "Archie," comic. Really though, who the heck remembers her?
Blazer: Vintage (Pendleton)
Jeans: Silver Jeans
Purse: Dooney & Bourke
Hat: Thrifted (Cashmere!)
Mittens: Handmade (Purchased at a craft fair)