I loved my Barbie Dolls growing up – like lots of girls, I was kind of
fanatical about them. I had a few different versions of Barbie, Ken
(with his purple ascot and hot pink shirt), and Barbie’s little sister
I also had Donny and Marie Dolls that used to come on over to party with
Barbie. And Darci, Covergirl Darci was a bigger, bustier version of a
Donny and Marie dolls
But my favorite memory of Barbie revolves over just one of her many parts
and no, it wasn’t those feet that were forever in tip toe position ready
for another pair of high heels to be popped into them.
It was her head.
This isn’t the exact one I had, but it’s a close match.
I was probably a little too old to be getting one of these giant styling
heads on a plastic tray for Christmas. In fact, I kind of kept it on the
down low that I had a Barbie head, even though it was one of my favorite
It must have been that combination of feeling like I was indeed too old to
still be playing with Barbie, mixed with the fact that once I had her
hair and make-up just so I really didn’t want anyone else messing with
her that made me pretty much keep her to myself.
Here is what I remember about my giant Barbie head:
Her hair came off in the pink brush
that came with it, she shed quite a bit.
Her nose was perky as hell.
She came with a necklace that you
could put around her neck; I think it was like a cameo? Weird,
putting a necklace on a big plastic head.
The make-up applicators were like
giant flat Q-tips that you had to wash off when you were done or the
rouge would dry onto them permanently.
I would put her hair in all sorts of different styles. Having thick, curly
brown hair her pretty blonde mane sure was a nice departure. But doing
Barbie’s make-up was my favorite part of being her stylist.
I loved putting a ton of blue eye shadow on her, followed by hot
pink rouge and frosty pink lips. With her hair up in a French twist she
looked like she was out of a restoration period piece! Or maybe out of
an old-timey brothel!
Either way I was constantly pleased with my work and loved to gaze at her
head on my white dresser as I went to sleep.
Throughout the 80s, the Barbie styling heads continued to get even cooler
and more deluxe. How happy I would have been if “Fashion Fever Barbie
Styling Head” would have been around when I was younger (she wore lots
or this “Pose Me Pretty Barbie” (her head could “pose” and she also had a
ribbon choker necklace like mine did!)
Having that Barbie head was the start of my love of big hair and a crap
load of make-up - in the early 80s my big head started wearing
blue eye shadow, hot pink rouge and frosty pink lips.
It didn’t look as good on me as it did on my big Barbie head, but I wore
it loud and proud.
Thanks for the practice, Barbie.
Lori Ferraro is the author of
the website Drawn to
the 80s where the greatest hits of the 1980’s are illustrated by her
five-year-old son. Her blog
www.onceuponaproduct.com is where you can read about her obsessions
with make up, food, Mick Jagger, big hair, boys and yes...the 80's.