My Barbie Doll Was A Minimalist

The ugly duckling is a misunderstood universal myth. It’s not about turning into a blonde Barbie doll or becoming what you dream of being; it’s about self-revelation, becoming who you are.
Baz Luhrman

Greetings! While on my simplicity quest, I often take tiny detours down memory lane. It’s part of the process for me. It helps slow me down a little because I have a tendency to rush ahead at full speed.

Sometimes, I remember things we lost in the fire. The memories skitter across my mind in random moments of thought. In this case, I was pondering a wardrobe that could go from day to night with only a few, minor changes. (Shocker that I would think about such things, right?).

Then I remembered my favorite Barbie Doll. Day to Night Barbie. Since I’m pretty sure she’s gone on to Barbie heaven, I did a little Google searching. Oh. My. Word. I think it was an early sign from the universe. An unexpected teacher with plastic skin, blond hair, and painted blue eyes…and an outfit that went from work to play in a matter of seconds.

Let me put this out there before I go on. With as much flak as Barbie gets for creating unrealistic physical goals for young girls I stand on the other side. Firmly. It’s just a doll. Just like my cloth baby doll. I learned to dress her and change her diaper. It’s a toy.

I’m in my thirties and have no desire to change from brown hair to blonde or hazel eyes to blue. In fact, I want more muscle tone than my Barbie had :). (I also had an early eighties fitness Barbie – bright blue body suit, legwarmers, and headband. Oh yeah…)

If anything, playing with my Barbie Dolls helped me decide what I liked about me. What colors and styles I preferred. What life I might choose to have. And like the Baz Luhrmann quote states, it’s not about becoming her, it’s about becoming me.

How was my Barbie Doll a minimalist? She could go from a day at the office to a night on the town by removing her jacket and hat and reversing her skirt. Genius. I’m still totally inspired. To help you have a better idea of what I mean, I’ve gathered a couple pictures and commercials I found. I had both the doll and the home and office set. Seriously.

20130910-060335.jpgΒ  20130910-060310.jpg

Did you enjoy those? I know I did! During my search, I found another Barbie from my past that I had quite forgotten. But now that I see her – and the many ways she can wear one dress combination – I’m not surprised that she was mine as well. Dream Date Barbie.

20130910-060354.jpg 20130910-060421.jpg 20130910-060443.jpg 20130910-060541.jpg

One skirt, many options. Oh yes! See that sequined tube top thing? I made it into a skirt and added a tank top. Yep, early signs of a versatile wardrobe addiction…

Thank you, dear reader for taking this tiny trip down memory lane with me. I’m a bit of a nutter but if you can stand it, then I’m glad you are here. Cheers to you, wherever you are and to your wardrobe – may it always reflect who you are inside. πŸ™‚


  1. Yes, the commercial brought back memories! So glad you were able to find this. And yes….the early signs of your wardrobe versatility inclinations were definitely unmistakeable in your choice of dolls, ha! Thanks for taking the time to share these clips and pictures. πŸ™‚

  2. Sadly I don’t remember these barbies, as I was into the 70’s models. πŸ˜‰ The day to night version is fascinating! Why can’t I have a reversible skirt like that?
    Make it so, Ginny, Master-of-the-Versatile-Wardrobe.

    1. 70’s Barbies were cool too. πŸ™‚ The main reason we don’t have a skirt like that is because that damn tulle would be quite itchy all crammed under the “pencil” skirt”. I am working on it, though. The design is certainly inspiring and I’d love to come up with something similar – only MUCH more comfy. This whole “life” thing keeps getting in my way of creative design. πŸ˜›

    1. You make me smile so much! I’ve seen a few glimpses of your outfits on your blog. LOVE your style. Neutrals. Comfy. Cute. Especially that hat. Can’t leave out the hat. It’s fabulous. πŸ™‚ By the way, you may not have known what to do with your barbie but you know how to dress those adorable munchkins of yours. Cute cuteness!

      1. I actually let them dress themselves, and my mother in law shops for them, so… but thanks anyway!

        Yes, comfy neutrals do feature big in my wardrobe. I keep trying to shake that up, and I always manage to fail somehow. Hm.

  3. Hi Ginny…yes, it seems that your Barbies fascinated your early inclinations with clothing design. And if your theory proves to be true (and I think it might!) then my poor Barbie suffered along with casual and convenient clothing under my care. As a matter of fact I think my mom might have even made some of the outfits that my doll had. But to me it didn’t really matter WHAT she wore…I was into relationships! I had Ken of course and Midge and a couple of others–and it was all about her great relationships with her lover and her girl friends. Of course she had a nice car, a cool house and horses! Now that I think about it, my Barbie had a boyfriend, lots of girl friends, a younger sister–but NO KIDS! Hmmmmm…. Interesting πŸ™‚ Funny how things work out right? ~Kathy

    1. My mother made some of my Barbie clothes too! Cute, crocheted little dresses, polyester pants with matching tops, a lovely little cape (I miss the clothes she made more than the dolls themselves). She used a pattern and then added her own flair. Another early influence I had not noticed until I decided to explore my strange fascination with clothes…

      It does not surprise me one bit that your Barbie was all about relationships. Not one bit. I bet there is a lot of interesting science behind the predictability of a child’s future by how he/she plays with their toys. I’d love to study it but that will have to wait for a different lifetime. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by. Always nice to get comments from you, dear lady!!!

Comments are closed.