Whatever jokes → Barbie Turns 40

    Yes, it’s hard to believe,
but in 1999 Barbie will turn 40, just in time to greet the new century. And they’ve been
40 full, rich years. She began as a glamorous airline stewardess when she was introduced
at Toy Fair in 1959.She soared into space as an astronaut in 1974, ran for president in
1992, and, in 1997, she bore disability bravely, folding her first-ever bending legs into
a wheelchair to become a role model once again for a newly identified market.

    In every incarnation,
nationality, and skin tone, she’s perfectly turned out,with accessories galore at her long
slender fingertips. She’s Everywoman, she’s the Cosmo Girl, she has it all. So, what will
Mattel think of next as the company meets the challenge of Barbie turning 40?

    Why fight age? Why not
capitalize on it in every way possible? Here are some ideas Mattel might consider for a
past 40 Barbie:

Bifocals Barbie:

Comes with her own set of blended-lens fashion
frames in six wild colors (half-frames too!), neck chain and large-print editions of Vogue
and Martha Stewart Living.

Hot Flash Barbie:

Press Barbie’s bellybutton and watch her face
turn beet red while tiny drops of perspiration appear on her forehead! With hand-held fan
and tiny tissues.

Facial Hair Barbie:

As Barbie’s hormone levels shift, see her
whiskers grow! Available with teensy tweezers and magnifying mirror.

Cook’s Arms Barbie:

Hide Barbie’s droopy triceps with these new,
roomier-sleeved gowns. Good news on the tummy front, too: muumuus are back! Cellulite
cream and loofah sponge optional.

Bunion Barbie:

Years of disco dancing in stiletto heels have
definitely taken their toll on Barbie’s dainty arched feet. Soothe her sores with this
pumice stone and plasters, then slip on soft terry mules. Colors: pink, rose, blush.

No More Wrinkles Barbie:

Erase those pesky crow’s-feet and lip lines
with a tube of Skin Sparkle-Spackle, from Barbie’s own line of exclusive age-blasting
cosmetics.

Soccer Mom Barbie:

All that experience as a cheerleader is really
paying off as Barbie dusts off her old high school megaphone to root for Babs and Ken Jr.
With minivan in robin’s egg blue or white, and cooler filled with doughnut holes and fruit
punch.

Midlife Crisis Barbie:

Ken has a young Swedish girlfriend, so it’s
time to ditch Ken. Barbie needs a change, and Bruce (her personal trainer) is just what
the doctor ordered, along with Prozac. They’re hopping in her new red Miata and heading
for the Napa Valley to open a B&B. Comes with real tape of “Breaking Up Is Hard
to Do.”

Single Mother Barbie:

There’s not much time for primping anymore!
Ken’s shacked up with the Swedish au pair in the Dream House and Barbie’s across town with
Babs and Ken Jr. in a fourth-floor walk-up. Barbie’s selling off her old gowns and
accessories to raise rent money. Complete garage sale kit included.

Recovery Barbie:

Too many parties have finally caught up with
the ultimate party girl. Now she does 12 steps instead of dance steps! Clean and sober,
she’s going to meetings religiously. Comes with little copy of The Big Book and six-pack
of Diet Coke.

    Who knows when Barbie will
have outlived her usefulness? From Dream House to Nursing Home, the possibilities and
accessories are endless.

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