My Barbie Dolls were You

Have you ever played Barbies with me? If you knew me before and after eighteen, you have. It blows my mind that she isn’t as popular now, especially because she’s got a brand-new wardrobe. Ol girl finally can be anything she wants, with a bit of a tummy, shorter legs, thinner body; she looks like US now.

This morning I scrolled my wall, still turning shit in late, when I saw a member of our English, Rhetoric and Writing Department at University of Arkansas in Fort Smith, Dr. Cammie Sublette along with fellow instructors. I shared before I watched, like a lot of us are known to do, and went back to business. I pictured Dr. Sublette in cap and gown after, and a memory returned. I love my flashbacks, they’re vivid and informative. This memory in particular took me to an old-time practice of mine- Barbie when she grows up. Apparently, Dr. Sublette makes me think of Barbies.

When I play Barbies, they did the usual things, costume parties, New Years’ Eve parties, weddings, and duh, they gon’ smash. I only had one Ken doll, and until I found out it was okay for the girls to kiss each other, Ken was getting aaaallllll the plastic. Aside from all those typical shenanigans, my Barbies attended college, led rallies and practiced witchcraft. Eventually Ken got to be gay once I added another to my collection as well, but my girls were educated, educating and casting spells.

Dr. Sublette, Dr. Robinson, Dr. Lee, Dr. Aldridge-Sanford, Dr. Jennings, Dr, Renwick, and all the other females who I may have foolishly missed; my Barbie dolls were you.

My dolls were educated women who defied gender role expectations and pursued a lifestyle once regulated to men alone. Women who read and will continue to read books until their death. Women who support other women.

Ladies, thank you for being exactly what I thought strong educated should be, long before I met you.

My Barbie dolls were you.

They were also Stevie Nicks, Whitney, Houston, Chaka Kahn, Dominique Dawes, Melissa Joan Hart, Flo Jo, Lisa Fernandez, and Minnie Ripperton.

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