Yesterday, Little Miss Sunshine turned five. I feel like I should cue some wah-wah trumpets here and lament the passing away of my baby days, but really, I was okay with it. She’s anxious to grow up and gets frustrated when she can’t run as fast or jump as high as her brother and sister, and I want her to move forward, too. In many ways, she’s still our baby – I don’t remember the Captain or Gal Smiley being quite so babyish at age 5, perhaps this is a youngest thing? But it’s nice when she’s confident enough to dress herself or make her own snack. So I’m still getting my fair share of cuddles and snuggles, and yet, getting a more independent family that’s capable of broader experiences and adventures, and it’s all good.

So what I really wanted to talk about was Barbies. Specifically, shoes. The Little Miss loves Barbie, and up until now she’s had fun with my old doll from when I was a kid and her extensive wardrobe, hand made by my mother who had a little Barbie clothes making business when I was young. My old doll is named Sandy and reeks of Malibu. I kind of love her, still.

The Little Miss has also acquired a couple of new Barbie dolls, but they don’t fit the old clothes quite right because the dolls were redesigned in 1997 to have a thicker waist and smaller chest. So for her birthday, we bought her a few new outfits for her new-style Barbie dolls.

And the outfits came with shoes.

Now, my mother is a wonder with her sewing machine (how she made it through all those finicky wee bits of trim without losing her mind is beyond me), but shoes require a big plastic making machine. So my classic Barbie has store-bought shoes that are sensible, practical, logical.

Take these:

I think Sandy has about 15 pairs of these in various colours. Look at that nice, sensible heel. They go right from the office to date night in comfort, all night long.

She also had sporty sneakers for running, and ballet shoes for pursuing her dream:

And of course, a variety of boots featuring safe, square heels suitable for horseback riding or a day-long tour of the mall:

For evenings out, if she really wanted to get flashy, she had these (actually these little fancies belonged to my sister FameThrowa, we’ve absorbed her Barbie wardrobe into ours):

And now, compare with the shoes that came with the new Barbie outfits.




Is That?

Do you see the heels on that last pair? Pointy spikes, with a ball on the end? And the others, with their high heights and sparkles and ankle straps, what are we, Lady Gaga?

I just…don’t know. I really don’t know. I’m thinking there must be something more practical on eBay.

In other news, no one seems to make patterns for Barbie clothes anymore – once the redesign happened, no one bothered to alter the patterns. I still have my mom’s old patterns but they’re only good for making more clothes for Sandy, who is already very well covered. The new ladies are going to have remain content with their cheap, sparkly store dresses and the matching ridiculous footwear. GAH.

11 thoughts on “Five

  1. I feel your pain. My youngest is turning 5 this month, and like your littlest, she is in a few ways very much our baby (although we only have 2 – and she is also clearly the one willing to do just about ANYTHING for attention). And, yeah, I’m OK with us moving on to the new adventures of school age girls.
    Like your daughter, my soon-to-be five loves Barbies. And each one comes with ridiculous outfits. I just want some clothes for the ones we have, preferably that cover a little more
    plastic flesh than the skanky outfits we have.
    And some nice, sensible shoes. I’ve been managing to “lose” a large number, but couldn’t there be somewhere we could buy replacement shoes that wouldn’t break a neck if they were real?
    OK, I know my folly is using Barbies in the first place, but what’s the alternative?

  2. THOSE ARE “F*CK ME” SHOES! That seems incredibly inappropriate, and yet somewhat fabulous all at the same time. It’s like Sex and the City, but for Barbie. Which is wrong for little girls, but *I* wouldn’t mind a pair of those shoes. Although, who am I kidding, the vast majority of the year I wear black boots kind of like those in the picture.

    I had a Barbie who also had those running shoes. I think she also had a tennis racket. I did not have handmade Barbie clothes but my grandma made a huge wardrobe for my Cabbage Patch Doll.

  3. They redesigned Barbie? Clearly I’m behind the times. The changes to bust and waistline are clearly improvements, but what-up with the skank??

  4. smothermother

    I had those boots too!! Did you have the Barbie that had wire in her hair and she came with a plastic curling iron and you could give her big curls? Santa brought her to me one year. I was afraid to take her out of the box.

    Oh and Happy Bday to the Little Miss! 😉

  5. I had all that stuff (except for the home made clothes, your mom is amazing!) and those shoes are crazy!!! Happy birthday to your baby girl! I can’t get over that she is 5 already. So sweet.

  6. Great. So they make the effort to make the Barbie body more realistic but then ramp up the unrealisticness of her wardrobe. Oh Barbie. Forever the victim of our sexist world…

    BTW, I’m pretty sure you were still having to hand-feed the Captain at 5 years old (if only sometimes).

    But Gal? She was the originator of MY BYSELF!, so I think she’d fall more into the early independence category, saving a brief relapse into baby-ness after Sunshine was born.

  7. I made my niece barbie clothes last year (with a new pattern) and she didn’t complain. They also fit the dollar store barbie I bought to test them on. Maybe the imitations didn’t change when the real thing did?

  8. Happy birthday to Little Miss Sunshine. And eep on the shoes. Someone around here just asked for a Barbie for her birthday.

  9. Melanie Jackson

    My Barbie had the same shoes and boots. I especially loved a pair of white knee-high boots that she had and wanted a pair for myself. Sadly, my parents didn’t approve of the go-go dancer look, so I never got them.

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