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Hello, my name is Erika Marie, and I am a Barbie fanatic.
Don't misunderstand me: I'm not one of those people who has to store all of my clothing in bins on a garage shelf because my closet is wall-to-wall dolls. It's just that since I learned how to drag myself across the floor as a child, I have adored adding to my Barbie collection. When Mattel released its signature I Love Lucy dolls, you best believe I got the Vitameatavegamin version. (It's still in its original packaging.) When it came out with its Dolls of the World Collector's Series in 1993, I was all over it. And when I heard that Mattel was creating a Frida Kahlo Barbie doll last month as part of a series highlighting iconic female role models, I almost passed out.
(Seriously, my mother is a G for putting up with my Barbie obsession.)
Barbie has empowered girls and women like me, young and old, for years. She's had more jobs than the Jamaican "Hey Mon" family from In Living Color. She's showed kids that you can be an astronaut, paleontologist, firefighter, surgeon, dentist, football coach, and even a See's Candies cashier. Whatever your heart's desire, if Barbie can do it, so can you.
Still, even I can acknowledge the fact that Mattel's made some questionable choices over the years. Read on to see the most controversial highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you look at them) from its decades-old Barbie lineup.