Saturday, February 7, 2009

Going Home Barbie


Do you have a "Going Home Barbie?" I have one, from Maya's adoption trip. Zoe didn't get one because we were only able to book into the White Swan at the last minute because rooms came available when people stayed away in droves from the October trade fair in Guangzhou after 9/11. So we weren't there as adopters, and missed out (!) on the Barbie.

Here's a story referencing the "Going Home Barbie" by Tai Dong Huai, an adult adoptee from China who writes fiction based on her adoption experiences:

My adoptive mom's best friend, Rachel, comes over to our house with her new Chinese baby. Her American name is Cynthia, she's eleven months old, and she's already a brat. People expect me to make a connection. They grin at me as if to say, "Look. One of your people."

But it's not Cynthia's overwhelming smell of baby powder that gets my attention. It's not her porcupine hair that sticks straight up, or her still malnourished body. It's the toy she was given at the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou, just before she and her adoptive mom got on the plane aimed toward the U.S.A.

It's called Going Home Barbie. I know this because it's still in the box and, from the way Rachel handles it as if it were rare art, it probably always will be. Inside are two dolls: Barbie, white, blond and dressed for what looks like divorcees-night-out at the Holiday Inn Lounge, and her small baby who appears more Aztec than Chinese. She's huge, this Barbie, actually dwarfing the cardboard house and picket fence that attempt to confine her. And she's too young — twenty, at most. Rather than an adoptive mom returning with a baby from China, she resembles a steroid-soaked Swedish nanny who's making off with a small, Mayan child.

Click here to read more.

12 comments:

Wendy said...

I have to say I am so against that trinket. Yes, I got one and yes, I IMMEDIATELY sold it on ebay the moment I got home. I put the money I made in M's bank account--yes, it was a substantial sum (those Barbie collectors will pay a ridiculous amount for a collectible they can't get).
That doll disgusts me on so many levels (beyond the reasons I don't have Barbies in my home).

Still Mad at Miley said...

Maybe I'll sell mine on EBay, great idea Wendy!
The whole Barbie concept is demeaning to women AND men.
Just like with the Bratz - I have never "forbidden" my daughter to play with them. I
never acted excited by them or bought them for her. As a result, thankfully, she is not that excited by Barbies (or Bratz)!

Wendy said...

I am lucky M has no clue about them! I do talk to her about the reasons I find shows/toys/whatever inappropriate. She has friends that watch/play with things I will not allow, but we have never had an issue when I explain my reasoning.
I so agree about Bratz as well.
You will be surprised at the Barbie fanatics out there--bidding war. Then again, I sold mine in 2006 so I don't know if so many people are wasting money--I'll bet they are!

Anonymous said...

heh. We still have our going home Barbie in her original box. My daughter is not a Barbie fan. If she found this, she would want to immediately open it and get everything out, but then would never play with it. Ebay might be a good place for it. Except that it is my daughter's to sell or keep, not mine. I'll have to show it to her one of these days. Maybe in 15 yrs it will be worth a lot more money.

Lisa said...

I never gave Syd's to her, so I consider it "mine." Call it a rationalization if you like! :) I like Wendy's idea of the money going into a college fund. Still pondering, plenty of time... Anon is right - hang on to it and the value will hopefully go up. (As long as the dollar doesn't collapse in the meantime....)

Wendy said...

I also never viewed the doll as M's, more of a marketing ploy by Mattel and The White Swan for ensuring AP's to want to stay there--a gimmick that turned into something truly odd and holding way to much weight. I guess you can equate it to the red couch photo that has morphed from a photo to a fashion show and that some have turned into part of the adoption process.

Yes, it was a nice sum for her CD that continues to pay off in interest.

Wendy said...

Well, I was a Barbie lover as a child, so I really don't have anything against her :) Camille already opened and played with hers, so I guess I can't sell it for big bucks.

My feeling it is what you make of it. For us, it wasn't some special keepsake that needed to be kept out of reach. It's just a doll. A hoochie mama doll with her "China doll" baby, which Camille doesn't get, but we'll talk about that when she's older.

Wendy said...

Hey Wendy,

My grandma made me an entire wardrobe for my Barbies when I was a kid, it was not until ten years ago or so that I began to come to my current conclusions of Barbie and Mattel in general.

You do have the right attitude--it is a doll not the coveted piece of collectible adoption must haves. I didn't think Camille would have a shrine in her room! lol

Wendy said...

Haha, Wendy! She doesn't have a shrine, just a suitcase filled with her new Princess barbies!

Mahmee said...

I recently found your website and I immediately became a big fan. Our daughter is 3 years old.

We too received the White Swan gifted Barbie doll which I took an immediate dislike to. I've never been a fan of the Barbie world anyway but this particular Barbie...ugh. When my daughter was about 18 months old, I removed it from the box and let her use it as a drumstick to pound on whatever surface she chose. It seemed to work well for that purpose. If I hadn't been concerned about the toxic content of the material it was made of, I probably would have given it to our dog as a chew toy.
Beaten-down-barbie (a.k.a. "Holiday Inn Lounge" Barbie) is now tossed into a box somewhere or, maybe it ended up in the trash....I can't recall.

malinda said...

Mahmee, I love the idea of Drumstick Barbie!

I can't look at any Barbie without thinking, "Call Girl Barbie" -- someone gave Zoe a "California Girl Barbie" for a birthday present, and it was really dressed like a hoochie-mama. When Zoe unwrapped it and held it up, you could see written across the box, "CALI Girl Barbie." One of my friends in the back deliberately misread it and called out, "Look, it's Call Girl Barbie!" So now all Barbies are "Call Girl Barbie" to me!

Cavatica said...

I realize this is an old post and this is an even older link. Yes, we have one. Here's my take on them - http://cavaticasweb.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/white-swan-barbie-part-2/