Friday, October 16, 2009

Bless Her Heart, Barbie Has Fat Ankles

Anytime someone makes a remark about Barbie's body it's a scandal. Is she too thin, too fat or too curvy? It's enough to fill one's hollow plastic head with all kinds of body-image issues. So, of course, when a spokesperson for Christian Louboutin suggested the poor dear had the dread "cankles" people went nuts. The thing is, though, he's right.

It's important to clarify that fat ankles do not equal fat. Barbie is clearly not fat. But, let's be honest, her body is somewhat oddly shaped, her feet less than elegant. I know Barbie's figure well, as my sister and I both served as her personal couturiers for much of our childhood. We never attempted to make shoes, but even with Jem on the scene if you really wanted to dress your dolls like Debbie Harry you had to break out the scissors and safety pins.

Barbie's feet are absurdly small for her body and shaped in a way that not only makes it impossible for her to stand without assistance, but also makes one wonder if Mattel is run by a bunch of wacko foot binding enthusiasts. They just seem wrong. I think this is what compelled me as a small child to chew the heck out of the misshapen things. Was I teething at six? Maybe. I think I was subconsciously rejecting or trying to fix those ridiculous feet. They are deformed and they make her ankles look even bigger.

Barbie's ankles are a too slim head-on, too wide in profile mess. If someone with as much reverence for a woman's foot as Christian Louboutin wants to improve things I, for one, approve.