I last played with a Barbie when I was about 12. I was mocked for it by all but a few students in my class for still holding an interest in the plastic power woman. I didn't care though, I loved my Barbies and even celebrated my 12th Birthday with a Barbie cake. I have saved every last one of my Barbies even the one's who's heads broke off and had to be jammed on down to the shoulders. I was considering getting rid of some of them as 9 years later and it seems somewhat silly to have them piled in boxes in my basement. However after a recent visit to the toy section to help a friend shop for gifts for the girls she babysits I realized with relief my Barbies are going nowhere.

In the 90's Barbie was a woman of power, and I had a doll for every career. From doctor, to teacher, solider to olympic gold medalist, mother to sister and all that was in between Barbie wore many hats and never relied on Ken to bring home the bacon. Sure there were princess and mermaid Barbies to toss in the mix as well as some superficial play sets, but in the end Barbie had a purpose other than just looking pretty. Beneath all that blonde hair, and inside that tiny rubber head we were all lead to believe Barbie had a brain.

I remember the discussions friends and I would have about Barbie's proportions and how if she were a real person she'd most likely fall over from having to large of a head, to big of a chest and to tiny of a waist and legs. Since then I've found Barbie has changed even more significantly to continue to look less and less human. With a sickly thin waist, abnormally long slender legs, large breasts and a frighteningly monstrous head she nows looks more alien than ever. They're even giving Barbie cleavage and a chest only a plastic surgeon could mold.

With the rise of Bratz Barbie has had to lower her standards, from intelligent woman to superficial bimbo. The Bratz focus fully on fashion and boys. To find a Barbie now that is anything more than a princess or a supermodel is harder than one would think. Barbie has gone from showing girls that using their brains is cool to promoting them to worry about their looks. The only prop I can give Bratz is the fact that you'll never loose their shows as they are their feet. When my little sister would force me to join her to play with her Bratz dolls loosing their shoes was something I could never get yelled at about. As opposed to Barbie who after loosing all but one of each pair went barefoot most of the time. Even though Bratz shoes had platforms that were rarely found outside of 70's night or things of an adult nature.

No daughter of mine will ever be seen with a hunk of plastic who looks like she should be standing on a street corner. When you compare the modest yet still stylish clothes Barbie once wore with the fishnets, short skirts, and low tops she nows sports it's a bit sad. Especially considering that she caters to girls generally under 10. I would never let my 10 year old wear half of the clothing Barbie does.

And what happened to the cultural Barbies? They used to produce a new one every year or so for various countries, but now the most culture Barbie gets is pretending to do a musical performance in France while wearing spandex and glitter.

Sometimes I wish I could time travel back to the 90's, when being a little girl meant dreams of changing the world and caring for her dolls. As opposed to now when most young girls are worrying about growing up to quickly and getting the most attention even if it means becoming objective.

Thanks to those who provided the images and thanks to everyone who read and commented my first article!