Overachieving Barbie now stars in comic books

January 04, 1991|By Pat Morgan | Pat Morgan,Knight-Ridder

Barbie, that multitalented, eternally youthful scamp, is at it again.

This time, she's the heroine of a comic book. Make that two comic books, typical for an overachiever who has succeeded at every career from astronaut to ballerina.

When is this babe going to start showing some age? She's worse than Dick Clark.

Where does Barbie get off having enough energy and enthusiasm to stop the C. Ment Corp. from turning a park into a parking lot, teach us step-by-step how to "walk that Barbie walk" for exercise, dog-sit for one friend and help cure another pal's case of wallflower-itis?

And that's only in the first Barbie book. The second comic, called Barbie Fashion, features our heroine foiling a robbery of her fashion-designer friend's clothing store, teaching readers how to make their own jewelry and jewelry boxes and showing little sister Skipper how to get grape jelly stains out of a white sweater.

The comic books, which sell for $1 each, also have a feature called "Career Quest." Barbie visits a friend with an interesting job, like a fashion designer or a buyer, who explains to Barbie (and her readers) what the job involves. Readers are also encouraged to design outfits for Barbie and send their sketches to the magazine.

According to the press kit sent with the comics, Barbie has a wardrobe of more than 6,000 outfits, including a Bob Mackie original. So what does she need with designs from comic-book readers?

This woman-doll is picture-perfect pretty, with measurements that can only be achieved in real life through extensive cosmetic surgery or starvation and legs that never end (and she still wears high heels!), and she has never failed at anything in her life.

What does this mean for the generation who grew up with the Barbie ideal? That we'll never measure up, of course.

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