I wonder how many parents are going to be buying these up.
Barbie The Hot Pagan Witch
It's the bimbo blond doll's latest Wicca-like incarnation, ready to "poison" young girl's minds
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist Wednesday, October 29, 2003 Listen up, naughty girls. www.sfgate.com/columnists/morford/
Do you long to be an "ordinary schoolgirl" by day who "transforms at night" into some sort of scary pink-robed glittery giggly perky blond pseudo-witch "magical enchantress" thing, perusing your "book of spells" with its plethora of "mysterious compartments" that "hold your secrets," along with recipes for concocting real potions "you can actually drink?"
You do? Well Jesus with an orgasmic wolf howl and some heavy goth eyeliner, are you ever in luck.
Because just in time for Halloween and just in time to make a few thousand hyper-Christian parental brows furrow with consternation and spiritual constipation, and just in time to make any true Wiccan roll her eyes and flick this story away like so much bad juju, here comes Secret Spells Barbie.
That's right, it's Mattel's latest Wiccan-flavored mutation of the famous and famously obnoxious pneumatic blond dingbat, joining the likes of Barbie Loves Spongebob Squarepants and the Barbie Romance Novel Giftset and Princess of the Portuguese Empire Barbie and Spirit of the Earth Barbie (all genuine items, alas).
Not to mention the long-desired Manic Depressive PR Exec Divorcée Barbie and Resentful Proctologist Barbie and Bloated Don't-You-Freaking-Touch-Me PMS Barbie and Desperately Lonely National Security Advisor "Condi" Barbie, with bonus Spinning Head feature. All, presumably, coming soon.
Hey, witches are cool. Everyone knows witches are cool. Way, way cool. Willow from "Buffy" was cool, and the vaguely lesbian witchly threesome on "Charmed" are ostensibly cool (in a bitchy backstabbing black-mascara mall-hopping sort of way), and even "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" is passably cool if you're, like, 12, ditto the entire whack "Sailor Moon" anime universe, because anime is just way cool, just by default.
And of course Harry Potter, the king himself, is still despoiling millions of young minds with his blasphemous heathen wizard spells and preteen angst and secret burgeoning lust to discover what magic dazzling transformational enchanted wunderfrump lies beneath Hermione's knickers.
Yes, Secret Spells Barbie is a witch. Sort of. But not really. Even though she is. But Mattel would never dare call her that, of course. Barbie just, you know, dabbles. Plays around. Casts a "spell," then twirls her hair and pops her gum and giggles a lot and then goes shopping. This is what Barbie does.
Nothing seriously Wiccan here, nothing remotely intelligent or in depth or knowledgeable about true witchcraft or magick or Wiccan belief, of course, because were Mattel to venture too far and dare to actually educate or inspire young maidens to shun church and embrace nature and dye their hair black and change their name to Raven Wolfdancer and start holding slumber parties/yoni awakenings on the winter solstice, why, terrified Christians would almost certainly rise up and light torches and march on their local pseudo-Christian Wal-Marts, which would immediately stop carrying the demonic lesbian Wiccan dolls that only masquerade as oversequined sanitized blonds with the equivalent of 39-inch chests.
No, SS Barbie apparently takes witchcraft about as seriously as, say, a hair barrette. About as seriously as the caulking on the Dream House. About as seriously as Ken's deeply repressed desire for a Barbie-size strap-on and a serious S&M whipping.
And yet. Apparently there's a TV commercial for this new doll, one that instructs Secret Spells Barbie fans to gather "at a secret time, in a secret place" to enact these "secret spells."
And then it cuts to a shot of our fair witches-in-training "secreted" away at the library mixing "potions" and "doing spells" and one rogue girl perks up and asks whether the spells actually work, and sure enough right then a hunky teen boy appears and strolls right up to the girl who has the Secret Spells "kit," and she grins all knowingly and enchantingly and giggle titter wink ooh isn't this wacky witchcraft fun?
It is just so cute. And it is just so sad. Because you could argue that Secret Spells Barbie signifies the ultimate saccharine dumbed-down heavily bleached mainstreaming of witchcraft and Wicca, sucking poor little Harry Potter dry and embarrassing even Sabrina and deflating all the joy and sexiness and funky chthonic wonder out of witchcraft and magic, and for this Mattel can rightfully be jeered at and besotted with night sweats and made to wear the Cursed Necklace of Dhzarzebub. Or something.
And, furthermore, you could say that Witch Wanna-Be Barbie exemplifies a deep and rather obnoxious insult to true Wiccans everywhere, the equivalent of Mattel launching some sort of perky bare-thighed Islamic Fundamentalist Barbie or maybe Frigid Catholic Nun Barbie or Wide-Eyed Rosicrucianist Barbie or even Creepy Cult of Scientology Barbie with Deluxe Tinfoil Hat and Fanatical Grin.
You could say that. But it's not really worth it. Because more than anything else, you just have to say that this incarnation of the world's best-selling virgin, this premolded hunk of insidious white plastic that inflicts the initial lashings of the American beauty myth on millions of young girls, is utterly, shamelessly useless.
Secret Spells Barbie is, despite her potential and much like every one of the 150,000 weird sub-subniche Barbies on the market, entirely pointless and disposable and, unless the girls who end up with her somehow tap into their inner badass witchiness and suddenly get inspired by some divine funky moonscream to rip off Barbie's arms and paint her hair bright red and tattoo her nipples with a Magic Marker and impale her on a red-hot hair pin and suspend her upside down from a dreamcatcher, well, she does nothing to further the cause of funky gorgeous goddess-thick witchness and nothing to further the cause of earthly luscious pagan interconnectedness or divine feminine power.
Not that she claims to. Not that this was ever Mattel's point, or Barbie's raison d'etre, really. And I suppose it's sort of wildly unfair to hope that Barbie might actually inspire girls beyond the hair-twirling saccharine fetishism of shopping and friends and cars and boys and shopping and money and dye jobs and shopping and fake careerism and shopping.
But in Secret Spells Barbie, there was a glimpse. There was a glimmer of hope that underneath her massive drapery of blond follicles and beneath that massive melon chest and beneath that huge pink cheap sequined magic robe beat the raw red heart of a latent pagan priestess, just dying to bust out of that whitebread virgin faux-Christian Botox world and get it on with the divine, even a little. Alas, it's not to be.
Oh, Barbie. When, oh when, will you strip down and writhe in the woods and howl at the moon?
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Thread: Just In Time For Hallow'een?
10-29-2003, 12:27 PM #1
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10-29-2003, 01:15 PM #2
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