War Widow Barbie

Ok, did anyone else grow up with War Widow Barbie? Or was that just at our house?

When we were little, my sisters and I concocted elaborate back stories for each of our many Barbies. Like with our other dolls, we needed our Barbies to help fulfil that mothering instinct that is the basis for a lot of doll-based play in children, especially little girls.

Only instead of us playing the part of a middle aged mother to a teenaged doll (like we would EVER have teenaged kids – HA!) our Barbie got to step into the lead as the inexplicably tall, leggy super model-esque mother to her imaginary babies.

Which was a problem.

Hadn’t our own mother told us AT LEAST a thousand times that babies are only born to married women? Ours were good Christian Barbies, after all. In the moments before my sisters and I piled into the car to go to church every Sunday, we pretended to turn on a televangelist so that our Barbies could participate in worship on TV.

It wasn’t ideal, but what else were we going to do? Let them all go to hell? These were our BARBIES and we loved them. And we couldn’t very well load up all 27 or so dolls and bring them with us because where would that leave our teddy bears? And our roller skates? Lonely and forsaken on Judgement Day while the rest of us went to heaven, that’s where.

Rather than keep the wrong company with Baby Out of Wedlock Barbie, we invented husbands for our Barbies. Only we had no brothers, so aside from one lone Donny Osmond doll, there was a dearth of boy dolls in our house. This meant that our Barbies’ husbands must have died.

And so it was that we lived with a whole array of Barbies whose husbands had died “in the war”. We didn’t know which war – this was the late 1970s. Vietnam was over and the Gulf Wars were years to come. We only assumed it was in a moral conflict against people who can’t buy bras at K-Mart.

In imagining husbands, it helped that GI Joe was infinitely more appealing to us than the lame, plastic haired Ken. We never even considered wedding one of our Barbies – even in an imaginary ceremony destined to end in tragedy – to Ken when GI Joe was so much more handsome. Marry Ken? We’d rather they all joined Donny Osmond’s harem.

And THAT would never work because Donny didn’t have a penis. We checked.

So it was that all of our Barbies came into our home mourning the loss of their rough and ready soldier husbands who all had good hair and the decency to go off to war and die. It was just as well – like us, our Barbies thought boys were gross.

Besides, once you have your babies, what else are boys for?

10 thoughts on “War Widow Barbie

  1. And that, my dear creative, right brained sister, is why you have the hysterical book and I simply hand out copies. I always joke that I loved building the houses and getting it set up but fell short when it came to the make believe part. My poor child had already learned by 1st grade that if you want Mommy to play, it needs to be a board game with rules. Problem solving? I’m your girl. Need to invent fantabulous dialogue between people who don’t exist? Call your Aunt Laura! 🙂

  2. Barbie has no business. Each grandson has confirmed that. Might as well go fight for something to hope for.

  3. I must confess, when it came to Barbie, it wasn’t about the role-playing. I had ALL the stuff. The car, the house, every character in multiples and multiple cases of clothes. I loved to get it all out and set it up. Then I’d try several outfits on each of the dolls – sort of like I was setting up photoshoots. Then, though it sounds weird, putting everything away was almost as much fun as setting it up. Getting all the accessories in the drawers. Hanging all the clothes. Fitting all the furniture in the appropriate niche so I could fold up the house. I loved it, but warbrides sounds like so much more fun!

  4. Well, you know, there are daily circumstances in which you might need to invent dialogue between people who don’t exist…or is that just me??? Thanks, Rachel 🙂

  5. I dunno. My daughter just got 2 new baierbs for her birthday. But she hasn’t gotten around to undressing them yet LOL! and as for ken, he has always had a suspicious lump at the crotch, but nothing more. Now they draw underwear lines. (I have a first edition ken doll from my mom, and he is ***** with a small lump or bulge.) Personally i don’t really care. My old baierbs were *****. no drawn on undies. By the way, anyone else feel if they have to put undies on the baierbs, why don’t they put bras on them too? LOL Whats wrong with cloth undies anyways LOL oh well. Most girls I know ask about what the ***** are for anyways! hahahaMy favorite barbie? Not sure, I played with all of them pretty regularly. Probably my Hollywood Hair or my Totally Hair baierbs tho. Or my Wedding Day Midge. Those 3 were probably played with the most (as I seem to remember who they are! haha) My daughter has 4 baierbs, and her favorite is the old one she got from the daycare that my MIL made a dress out of a napkin for it! LOL

  6. They look like they’re wearing oddly skin-coloured, modueld underwear. I’d prefer real ******** or real pants. I think the Ken dolls still have that strange package.BQ: I loved my black Barbie. She was different to my other white, blonde Barbies. I had a Swan Lake Barbie too, who had joints and plastic-y skin with short, brown curls. She was different and I loved her to bits. I still have her now.

  7. DD has Barbies who have some kind of textured pltsaic type underwear on. She has a slight but t ***** but nothing up front. Then she has Barbies that are smooth pltsaic and there is nothing shown. We don’t have Ken dolls so I don’t know if they still have the bulge or not!BQ: My favorite Barbie was twirly curls. I loved that her hair was so long. Not even sure they had Disney Barbie back in my day!!

  8. Haha, this question made me laugh, but at the same time, I woendr the same thing. I bet they do have underwear painted on. Silly, silly if you ask me. But I wasn’t the kid that had all the ***** Barbies laying around, I LOVED to dress them up and change their outfits. I can’t remember my favorite, I’m sure it was the Holiday Barbie I got when I was like 6 or something. But my favorite Barbie toy was Dallas, Barbie’s horse.

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