I’ve never been one for girls toys, specifically dolls. But my little sister was. As a result I spent many years playing Barbies with her.
Our Barbies came from flea markets and thrift stores. New Barbies are expensive. Because of this, we had about 30 Barbie dolls but only one Ken. And of course, we never had Skipper or Stacy or whoever. Just Barbie.
We didn’t think it was fair that all those girls had to share one boy doll. For a while we had a next door neighbor with those GI Joe dolls. The big ones. The sexy ones with real hair.
We would sneak into his room and steal them and have them make out with our Barbies. We didn’t really know the mechanics of sex at this time in our lives, so we would get them naked and kind of rub their crotch nubs against each other.
Our Barbies had so much sex. Much more sex than I ever seem to be having, for sure. And we weren’t that picky. Sometimes they would hook up with other toys or even stuffed animals (I’m pretty sure that’s where furries come from).
But when we moved away, we came up with a much better idea. We picked a few Barbies to give super short haircuts to. Then we learned to sew and made them boy clothes. So we had about 20 Barbies. One Ken. And 10 drag king Barbies.
The drag king Barbies were super cute but it always bummed me out that they were stuck wearing Barbie’s garish blue eye shadow. Who the hell wears makeup like that?
Also, it secretly bothered me that they were all blonde and blue eyed. I know it is a bit easier these days to find dolls of other ethnicities. But when I was growing up it was hard to even find a doll with brown eyes. Let alone a non white one.
My sister and I did all sorts of depraved things with our Barbies. (And I did a few things to them that J doesn’t even know about).
We would pierce their ears with needles and snap their heads off. We would tweeze all their hair out. We cracked a few of them open to see the freaky wires inside their limbs. We gave them permanent tattoos with markers.
I even took one doomed Barbie out one day and tried to destroy it. I set it on fire and burned it with a magnifying glass. I left it on the train tracks to get run over by a train. Fortunately I got tired of waiting for a train to come by and gave up on it.
On my way home from the train tracks I stopped by a neighbor’s trash can and hid the doll deep within the trash. I caught one last glimpse of her wrecked body before heading home.
The burns and melted plastic. The huge smile plastered on her face. The heavy makeup. And that’s when I was struck by how creepy I was being.
That was some real serial killer shit. It disturbed me. I stopped playing with my sister’s dolls after that. Sometimes she would leave them piled up naked in our bedroom and it always weirded me out. It was like seeing photos of mass graves.
I guess I grew up too much and our games starting seeming too real. I started associating the things we were doing with actual people. And I developed empathy for even these inanimate objects.
And suddenly, I had empathy for all kinds of things. Like, I would feel bad for the other cups if I only used my favorite cup. I thought it hurt the other cups’ feelings or was making them jealous.
One time, I broke a dish of my mother’s that was one of her favorites. And I could not stop crying about it. It had been an accident and I felt kind of bad for breaking something my mother loved. But I felt worse for hurting the dish.
This is something I now feel to varying degrees about things in my life. And I know that J feels the same way (though she tends to be a bit more extreme about it).
I’m sure it is correlated to some sort of mental health disorder. I’m surprised it doesn’t have it’s own diagnosis. OCD and OCPD come up when I look it up in Google.
So, how about you guys? Did you do terrible things to your Barbies? Do you think inanimate objects have feelings?