Friday, March 03, 2006

startups are hard, let's buy something

I'd been meaning to write this entry for quite some time, but a submission on reddit today encouraged me to finally get this online.

Like many people, I'd heard about the less-than-inspiring Teen Talk Barbie doll that encouraged a generation of young girls to avoid the rigors of math class in favor of shopping. "Math class is tough" and "Let's go shopping" were two individual phrases that when paired together in quick succession, produced hilarious results (in hindsight, at the time a number of parents complained to Mattel). Nevertheless, it's not as though Barbie hadn't already done a remarkable job reinforcing stifling gender roles (and stifling body types -- seriously, judging from Barbie's inhuman proportions, she didn't even need to open her mouth).

This quote came up during a conversation I was having with Aaron a little while back and he pointed me to the accomplishments of the BLO (Barbie Liberation Organization).

I needed one for myself.

With that, I scoured eBay for a version of the doll and a week and $20 later, I had my very own Teen Talk Barbie.

She needed new batteries. The free ones included with the doll were leaking a white powder and Aaron suggested that I buy new ones, as well as wash my hands before making myself lunch.

The day finally came. With trembling fingers I fiddled with the back of her shirt (how cliche) until I found what I was looking for...

"Meet me at the mall."

That's right, c'mon Barbie...

"I love to dance."

OK. A bit random, but that's fine, you'd rather be dancing than learning in math class, right?

"Wanna have a pizza party?"

No, Barbie, I don't, I want you to tell me how tough math class is.

"School friends are the best."

She's been hacked!

It turns out that with a little research, I would have learned that the offending Barbie phrase(s) were replaced with others (presumably with obviously fake phrases like "School friends are the best").

Oh well. Now that I had bought a doll (not my first), I needed to do something with it, so I played with my Predator action figure (does not talk).


Irina said...

Math class is hard. Calculus, stochastic modelling, probability models, discrete math!!! UGH! I wish I had School of Engineering and Applied Science Barbie to tell me that. Would be kind of encouraging, actually.

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