Teresa's Blog

Lives of a Secret Barbie Addict

Posted by Teresa on July 30, 2010 at 8:09 PM

This is my first post in a blog, any blog.  And I would never have believed I would be blogging on my own vintage Barbie site!   I was NOT a doll collecting person, not at all whatsoever, no way, never considered it.  In fact, my main hobbies have been music--classical piano--also I've written a novel which actually had the rights bought by a film producer, but then never to be produced.  (I suspect I'm in good company there.)  I also love science, especially evolutionary biology.


What happened?  A smattering of history: As a little girl of 6, I received a blonde Barbie doll, Ponytail (that's all they made at that point around 1960).  I think she was a #4 in retrospect, as I seem to remember soft poodle bangs.  I loved her, drove my mother crazy with my incessant asking for the newest fashion that Mattel would come out with, and played with her until, no doubt, her eyebrows came off and her hair was a disaster.  Nevertheless, she managed to attract a Ken--the one with black fuzzy hair.  (He later began balding in a most peculiar pattern.)  Also a brunette Midge became Barbie's best friend.  Midge was always sporting freckles and a goofy grin, and was clearly not a competitor for Barbie's sultry, side-glancing model's face.  However, she could wear the same outfits, fortunately!


I probably whined that my blonde Barbie was beginning to look a bit the worse for wear, so my mom finally gave in to buying me a new one, a Platinum Bubblecut with the latest look--pink lips, and a huge bouffant hairdo befitting 1963.  She was the sole survivor of Mom's streak of generosity when, probably around 1970, she gave all my Barbies away except the Platinum.  


Whom I discovered in Mom's old cedar chest, along with several outfits (I had "Modern Art"--!) about two years ago.  I took her home, marveled at how fab she looked for being 46 years old, and later sent her to have her somewhat worn lipstick and her brows retouched by Krista.  She returned to me looking absolutely new!  (Her portrait is in the "Close-Up" page, and she models "Mood for Music" on the Runway "Bubbles" page.)  


...So I started to watch "Mad Men" on AMG every Sunday, and noticed all those same fab fashions on those incredibly gorgeous people--and I was hooked.  I discovered ebay has a huge Barbie section, and off I went.  I now have about twenty dolls (not so many, really), and they are as close to mint as I can afford (oh yes, you can spend $7000 on one dolly if you want).  


Every one of them is different, despite their being the same or similar in terms of the molds their little heads were made from, or the stencils they did the faces with.  Each one personifies a fashion look all her own, from 1959 to 1966.  


I never would have predicted this.  A Barbie collector, moi?  I'm even a little embarrassed to say, I have at times considered my self at least a wannabe intellectual, and Barbie simply  does not seem to fit that mold.  Note I say "seem", because while one does not have to aspire to the wisdom of the sage to appreciate Vintage Barbie, when a good close look is taken at the fashion doll icon and her surrounding hype/pop culture/milieu, much can be gleaned!  (Really!)


Not an excuse for sheer silliness or indulgent play, but a good reason to collect, drink in the beauty of "retro" midcentury fashion and have just plain fun.  


~ Teresa

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12 Comments

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Reply dawn austin
3:21 AM on February 7, 2012 
Great way to kick off your blog Teresa! Its really interesting to hear other's stories of how they got into collecting, and absolutely amazing you found your childhood treasure along with modern art (top of my wish list!)
Reply Teresa
8:31 AM on February 7, 2012 
Thanks, Dawn! I invite you and other members to add to this blog or start a forum thread on how you got started collecting!
Reply Tama
1:59 AM on February 23, 2012 
Wow, just read this....definitely sounds like me...NEVER imagined being a collector, have at times considered myself a quasi-intellectual, I am a working scientist ( 2 degrees) and people that I know are shocked and amazed when I tell them collecting vintage Barbies is my new hobby!!! LOVE IT!!!!
Reply Teresa
8:12 AM on February 23, 2012 
Tama says...
Wow, just read this....definitely sounds like me...NEVER imagined being a collector, have at times considered myself a quasi-intellectual, I am a working scientist ( 2 degrees) and people that I know are shocked and amazed when I tell them collecting vintage Barbies is my new hobby!!! LOVE IT!!!!

I know, most people can't imagine what we might find interesting about them, right?! Anyway, glad to have a fellow scientist here on this site (i am an MD)!:)
Reply Tama
2:31 PM on February 23, 2012 
I guess that is what is so cool about this site...a place for collectors to communicate and share....my friends and family aren't interested in what I own and what is on my wish list to acquire, but here, people understand!!!! I have been so happy to share my photos and get feedback. Yes, scientists unite!!! My field is Marine Biology....(I did apply to FSU for grad. school, but ended up here at UAF, with full fellowship)...I fell in love with Marine Biology, however in Florida, and because of Florida....my great Uncle Harry lived in Naples and sent me a shell collection when I was 10...I had to categorize and identify each and every species!!! LOL!!! And as an undergrad. from Appalachian State Univ. in NC, we went to Panama City Beach for annual field trips...gorgeous. I became a certified SCUBA diver in W. Palm, and did several dive trips to that area and the Keys...so, it is because of Florida that I am where I am today...enough about me...back to Barbie:)I recently purchased Ocean Barbie still in the box, and she sits on my desk at work...thought it fitting!
Reply TNTGirl
5:54 PM on July 28, 2013 
Wow, Teresa, I had no idea-- but am not surprised; you are well spoken, and evidently well read too.
You are to be applauded for your patience with me-- without it, I may never have continued with my Barbie quest.
Your kindness answering all my questions, and emails, has brought me to this point, and nowI have nine dolls of my own, including my dream girl!
Thank you!!
Reply Teresa
8:03 PM on July 28, 2013 
TNTGirl says...
Wow, Teresa, I had no idea-- but am not surprised; you are well spoken, and evidently well read too.
You are to be applauded for your patience with me-- without it, I may never have continued with my Barbie quest.
Your kindness answering all my questions, and emails, has brought me to this point, and nowI have nine dolls of my own, including my dream girl!
Thank you!!

You're so welcome, Deb! Your collection is developing nicely!!:)
Reply BarbieFever
12:35 AM on January 29, 2014 
Love this little story! We are so similar in so many ways! I too began my collecting with a single Bubble...... She was careworn and now lives her life as a ponytail.....
Reply Teresa
6:36 AM on January 29, 2014 
BarbieFever says...
Love this little story! We are so similar in so many ways! I too began my collecting with a single Bubble...... She was careworn and now lives her life as a ponytail.....

Well, ponytail or bubble, she is well-loved!:)
Reply shoppinglover
12:23 PM on January 29, 2014 
BarbieFever says...
Love this little story! We are so similar in so many ways! I too began my collecting with a single Bubble...... She was careworn and now lives her life as a ponytail.....
Reply Gily stuff
12:26 PM on January 29, 2014 
I think that collecting Barbie is a passion wich is as interesting as collecting stamps!
Reply Teresa
6:57 PM on January 29, 2014 
Gily stuff says...
I think that collecting Barbie is a passion wich is as interesting as collecting stamps!

Even more!:)
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