Friday, June 26, 2009

The one where I get all old skool

I wasn't supposed to have Barbies as a kid. Instead, I had the Sunshines - a very sweet, wholesome, approximately Barbie-sized (but much more realistically-proportioned) family of dolls.

It was my Granddaddy, Mom's own father, who (probably unknowingly) went against her wishes and bought me for-real Barbies for my birthday. What could Mom do but grin, and let me welcome them into the Sunshine family?

I'm pretty sure my parents were similarly un-thrilled when Granddaddy decided that Michael Jackson doll clothes would be the perfect Christmas gift for me. But what could they do but help me write a thank-you note and sigh as I struggled to pull a single sparkly white glove (more of a mitten actually) over Crystal Barbie's built-in ring?

I was excited about the clothes, though. My older cousins had introduced me to Michael Jackson, and I thought he was pretty cool. So I happily dressed those formerly-contraband Barbies in red and black (fake) leather pants and jackets with all these extra zippers that didn't actually open, even though everything was just slightly too big for them.

In recent years, I haven't been a fan of Michael Jackson. Or Barbie for that matter. But scanning the radio stations in the car yesterday made me smile. When you look back at history, things aren't always so black or white. Remember the time before all the controversy? Before Michael Jackson - or the world in general - seemed so dangerous? Watching the Thriller video with my cousins. Trying to moonwalk on the playground. Thinking we were "bad," because we knew that bad meant good.

Those songs brought back happy memories from when I was growing up. At the same time, it made me sad to think that Michael himself didn't have a happy childhood. And neither did a lot of other kids. It made me want to do something. To protect the children, to make a brighter day, to heal the if I'm the one who can do all/any of that. But, really? What can you do?

All I can think of is this: If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.


PS Oh yes, you did catch some MJ references in the last half of the post! From the "In recent years" paragraph to the end, there's about a dozen Michael Jackson song references, mostly titles. Find them all and you'll get....well...not a prize exactly...but definitely some survived-the-80s cred! Need a hint?

PPS Not sure where my old toys are, but I found them on Flickr - yay! I'm pretty sure those are the two MJ outfits I had. (Not the dolls, though.)

Photos by:
Sakurako Kitsa

1 comment:

  1. My neighbor had the MJ barbie doll! In fact, that's how I first learned about him, although I didn't hear Thriller until my husband played it for me last year. Darn homeschooling.


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