Column: OMG: Barbie Has Left Malibu and Is Totally Open to New Places
Malibu, California’s most fashionable resident is moving. Today, Barbie officially put her coastal Dreamhouse on the market and is packing up her three-story pink palace. ... Over the next few months, Barbie will embark on a worldwide tour to find a new dream home. — Mattel press release, Feb. 6
MJmatteldesign: OK, I can’t believe they’re all, “OK, come up with a new Barbie, and make her totally cool, oh, only, she can’t live in Malibu, for no reason.”
PMmatteldesign: Right? OK, sorry, Barbie just IS Malibu. She loves her tiny pink surfboard and to lay on top of Ken in a bikini on her tiny pink towel!
MJ: Well. Whatevs. Just so you know, this list of cities they gave us is TOTALLY RANDOM. K here we go. Boston. Boston Barbie!
PM: OK. I went to Boston once. Ken has to be named Kevin. And he has to be really mean.
MJ: LOL. That’s sad. No to Boston Barbie. Chicago Barbie.
PM: You’re going to think this is stupid, but I think of Boston and Chicago as the same place.
MJ: I think that’s pretty normal. Philadelphia Barbie.
PM: Doesn’t Philadelphia Barbie already live in New Jersey and really just want move to New York?
MJ: Probably. New York Barbie. She’s ... a writer?
PM: Too depressing. She’s ... a publicist!
MJ: Yeah, a really smart book publicist! She wears glasses and she’s super-opinionated but not mean.
PM: And there’s a little pink subway, sold separately!
MJ: Mmm, the branding guidelines say, “Barbie’s transportation accessories must be limited to privately owned motor vehicles.”
PM: We could give her a Zipcar.
MJ: But don’t you sometimes go to get your Zipcar and you’re all, “But where is it?” When a toy has a car it should always be available.
MJ: What about Seattle Barbie? She’s ... an environmentalist?
PM: Yes! Seattle Barbie is fighting to save sea otters!
MJ: She has a pink raincoat. And a pet otter and a little pink otter cage.
PM: OK, which of us is going to say “little pink otter cage” in our meeting? Because I am not. Next?
MJ: Toronto Barbie.
MJ: I’m serious. They’re also thinking about Vancouver Barbie.
PM: I just don’t think Canada is fun enough for Barbie.
MJ: OMG, OMG, I was going to say that too but I literally felt so bad. OK. Next. Bentonville Barbie? Bentonville is in. Arkansas?
PM: Oh, yeah, I was asking that weird IT guy Justin about this. BRB. He said: “Bentonville Barbie comes wearing her Wal-Mart uniform. She’s carrying a Barbie-size application for Obamacare. You pull a cord on her back and she says, ‘I can’t believe I’m finally going to the doctor for the first time in my life.’”
PM: Right??? Uh, Justin, what are you even TALKING about?
MJ: OK. Minneapolis Barbie.
MJ: Looking it up. Check this out: “Minneapolis/St. Paul is the 16th-largest city in America.”
PM: Weird. Well. I can’t make up a Barbie from someplace I literally just heard about. I swear to God I’ll come up with something for the next one.
MJ: Dallas Barbie.
PM: Oh right! I asked my stepmom — she went there once. She said: “Either a cheerleader, a cardiologist’s wife or works in HR at an oil company.”
MJ: Your stepmom knows a lot about Dallas!!!
PM: I think she was just kind of wasted.
MJ: LOL. Next is Phoenix Barbie.
PM: I only know one thing about Phoenix — people burn their hands on car doors there. I saw it on Arrested Development LOL.
MJ: OK, but ... sorry, but that just makes me think of why Malibu Barbie was so good. I mean, the beach ...
PM: I know. The beach! Malibu Barbie was so much easier! We can’t be like, “OK, this is Phoenix Barbie ...”
MJ: “... and every day what she does is she burns her hand on a car door.” Right?
PM: Ugh. We’re almost at the end of the list of cities on her tour. San Francisco Barbie.
MJ: Barbie lives in a freezing cold Victorian? And knows lots of boring stuff about computers? And wears fleece? Or she’s a lesbian who rides a bike everywhere?
PM: There’s only one left.
Los Angeles Barbie.
MJ: I have ideas for this one! Malibu Barbie was Westside Barbie, right? So. This is Eastside Barbie. She comes dressed in a short calico dress and scuffed vinyl knee-high boots. She’s got pink ombre hair.
PM: Yeah, and like, one side is shaved. She’s got the total grubby kitten look. I wonder if they can make Barbie slouch a little? Instead of a boyfriend she gets a new friend who is ...
MJ: I actually feel OK about this one!
PM: I can’t believe we couldn’t come up with anything and for this one we came up with so much.
MJ: I can. I mean, we just needed to finally picture Barbie in a place that was like, normal!
Sarah Miller is the author of the novels Inside the Mind of Gideon Rayburn and The Other Girl. She lives in Nevada City, Calif.