I remember many a hot summer night in small town Illinois, sitting on my front porch dressing up my Barbie dolls. I spent countless blissful hours imagining living in the Barbie Dream House.
For many of us growing up in the 1960's the idea that a girl, a woman, could be both feminine and independent was brand new.
My Mom was incredibly talented, with an absolutely glorious voice. She taught piano lessons at our house to kids after school. Had she been living today, I'm pretty certain she might have been singing on a stage somewhere, and many more would have been blessed with her voice. As it was, she finished piano lessons in time to have a nutritious dinner on the table every night for my Dad when he came home from work.
In my young eyes, my Dad was the one with the exciting life. He managed a radio station, interviewed important people, and kept our town informed about events and happenings. That was the real world.
But in Barbieland on my front porch, Barbie had her own car, her own house, and as far as I could see she never cooked! It looked exciting, and fun.
This doesn't sound revolutionary today, when most women have their own careers and lives either because they want to work or they have to work. But at that time, many little girls like me had never seen a feminine and yet independent woman, until Barbie.