Venezuela: Cheap Barbie Dolls and All About That Bass


Shoppers look at the selection of Barbie dolls for sale at a store in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. (Ariana Cubillos/AP)
Shoppers look at the selection of Barbie dolls for sale at a store in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014.
(Ariana Cubillos/AP)

In an odd about-face Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has ordered retail outlets to reduce the price of Barbie Dolls. That most iconic of American toys, Barbie was once vilified by Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez who stated “the stupidity of Barbie”. One is left to wonder if Chavez actually tried to converse with the doll and, getting no response deemed her stupid.

It must be a relief for Venezuelans to know that in a country where basic staples such as milk and bread are becoming increasingly difficult to find on store shelves, they can be assured of cut-rate Barbie Dolls.

But this year, as part of Maduro’s “Operation Merry Christmas” he has decreed that toy prices be slashed to allow all Venezuelans to purchase them. No Grinch or Bah Humbug about it.

Poor Barbie has often been criticized in North America for being so damned perfect. Young girls see this cellulite-free figure and strive to emulate her. Unfortunately opinion seems to be that the proportions of the Barbie shape would not translate to a real woman. At least not an average real woman, maybe something Picasso created, but not your everyday girl.

As women in plastic-surgery loving Venezuela, land of umpteen beauty pageant queens, spend a fortune to try to look like Barbie, paradoxically their counterparts in the US, home of the “perfect body” doll, are being urged to love what they have.

The currently very popular song by Meghan Trainor, All About That Bass, (which I had assumed was a tribute to a fish … go figure) encourages young women to be satisfied with their shape just as it is.

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

It must be a relief for Venezuelans to know that in a country where basic staples such as milk and bread are becoming increasingly difficult to find on store shelves, they can be assured of cut-rate Barbie Dolls.

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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