Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 29/05/96

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie

The marketing machine that is Barbie continues its unstoppable momentum. Gliding quickly (very quickly) past an episode of Neighbours the other day, I accidentally ran into an advertisement for the latest addition to the clan. Here are the lyrics to that classic ad:

Who has the longest most beautiful hair?
Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie!
It's her longest hair ever
Brush her hair down and down
Style it high, twist it round
Friends put stars everywhere
Now let's crown your incredible hair
Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie!
With the longest most beautiful hair

As you might gather from those evocative lyrics, Jewel Hair Mermaid Barbie, or JHM as I call her, has very long hair (the knots must be a bitch) and takes the form of a mermaid. This means she can't actually stand up, just like ordinary Barbies which have minute feet and enormous tits. This gives Barbie a link to most supermodels, who have minute brains and enormous tits. She also has two unnamed 'friends' (sold separately) to attach stars to her head. The hangover symbolism I'll leave for another time.

Aside from the inherent revoltingness of all this, it strikes me that the boffins at Mattel are also losing a touch of their inventiveness. When I was a young 'un, there would have been four Barbies suggested by the above lyrics: one with really long hair (called Superhair Barbie or something), one who was a mermaid (Mermaid Barbie), one with stars in her hair (Star Head Barbie) and one with friends (the Barbie Popularity Plan model).

It isn't hard to come up with new Barbie concepts: in fact, it's a popular drinking game. You can even move beyond the puerile Hooker Barbie, Dyke Barbie and Six-Times-A-Night Barbie (sure they're appealing, but we've all been there). What about Kurt Cobain Barbie (with reconstructable head and perfume-scented shotgun); Flo Bjelke-Petersen Barbie (with free pumpkin); Pooper Scooper Barbie (comes with pooch, poo and pick-up pouch) or Ray Martin Barbie (with completely unbelievable wig)? And let's not forget my all-time favourite, Incontinent Barbie. Well, Baby Alive did OK, didn't she?

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