I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the new Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken, which debuts in theaters July 21.
Director Greta Gerwig is sure to have put a visually dazzling, playful spin on the iconic dolls’ ’60s-era romance (which always left me wondering why Barbie had “real” hair while Ken’s was plastic — what did she see in him?).
Barbie and I go waaaaay back. I was born in 1957, and she arrived two years later. I think we first met when I was about 4. I’ll never forget it: She was wearing a striped, black-and-white, strapless swimsuit that showed off her impossible curves, and her blonde hair was pulled back in a high ponytail. Don’t even get me started on the kitten heels! It was love at first sight.
To this day, I associate Barbie with such a happy, innocent time in my life. Our family owned a cute, baby-blue VW bug. My bedroom had pink daisy-printed wallpaper and a mirrored dressing table. The Beach Boys ruled the waves, both on and off the radio. We ate Swanson fried chicken TV dinners while watching one of three channels, and drove to Dairy Queen once in a while as a special treat. All seemed right with the world.
Was it in the ’70s, when I was a teenager, that the Barbie doll became synonymous with the color hot pink? It occurred to me back then that her manufacturer, Mattel, was trying to tap into little girls’ preferences and desires by branding it as Barbie’s favorite shade. In retrospect, it was a brilliant — if gender-stereotyping — marketing move. The vibrant hue still signifies femininity, power and, well, hotness!
So now that we are older and wiser (and perhaps feeling hot), let’s celebrate all things pink: watermelon, bubblegum, champagne, lipstick, seashells, diamonds, flamingos, peonies, cotton candy — and Barbie!
How to wear it
Just to be clear, you don’t want to actually wear pink from head to toe like Barbie does. One or two pieces per outfit, tops! You could dress tonally — for example, by pairing a shell-pink tee with pants in a deeper color such as watermelon — but then keep your accessories neutral. Shades of pink pair beautifully with navy, white, olive green and khaki. Combining pink with other pastel shades can be a bit tricky for a mature woman. And steer clear of pink rosebud prints, gingham and eyelet. Too girlie! But add a pair of bubblegum-colored sandals or a fuchsia shawl to an all-white outfit and watch it pop!
Pretty in pink
Can’t you just see us lounging poolside at the Dreamhouse listening to the transistor radio?