Since her early days as a teen model with an alluring sideways stare and a black and white swimsuit, Barbie has been everything from an astronaut to a pooper scooper to a drag queen. Lately, she's been gaining underground adoration on the wonderfully NSFW web series The Most Popular Girls in School. With a track record like that, Barbie must be one of the most versatile characters any author could hope to dream up. So why hasn’t Mattel ever paired Barbie with a literary classic? We’ve decided to make their jobs easy and whip up some cross-marketing campaigns of our own.
Woolf couldn't have devised a more respectable Mrs. Dalloway if she had molded one herself. Looking meticulously proper as she darts
about town shopping for flowers and preparing for a party of her own, this
Barbie is set to throw a chic soirée, all the while basking in "the perpetual sense ... of being out, out, far out to sea and alone."
Who better give Oscar Wilde's classic a gender-bending twist than Barbie in all her blemish-free glory? Notice the dead look in her eyes, suggesting that she’s sold her soul in exchange for a lifetime of debauchery.
Barbie isn't always all about her looks. Sometimes she's a hopeless romantic with a soft spot for a man in uniform. Maybe she's none other than Catherine Barkley in Hemingway's 1929 novel A Farewell to Arms. Although something tells us that 60s-style bouffant wouldn’t make it through World War I.
One way Mattel could defend this vixenish doll is to claim that it's just an homage to Nabokov. Okay, that would probably cause more damage, but there’s no denying this doll was made to lounge around in discreet hotel rooms and cars, dutifully following her own personal Humbert Humbert.
Flapper Barbie was made for Jay Gatsby’s parties, and with the upcoming Hollywood adaptation, now is the time to marry the two franchises. Barbie may not exactly embody a “girl whose disembodied face floated along the dark cornices and blinding signs,” but we’re pretty sure she’d have the Charleston down in no time.
As the daughter of a high-profile ranch owner in West Texas, Barbie manages to look both capable and alluring. Just don’t make her prove her skill with that horse whip. Her affair with the book’s hero causes him all kinds of trouble, but who can resist a woman in a pair of jodhpurs?
This Barbie doesn’t need to impress you. All she needs is a stiff drink and a couple of barbiturates to numb the pain of being a washed up actress. With her three friends (including a Botox-ed Skipper), she can’t get through the day without a couple of high-efficacy “dolls.” Definitely do not leave this doll in the swimming pool.
Granted, a Barbie under the train tracks would result in a plastic mess, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. In her thick but fashionable winter-sturdy garb, she manages to whisk Vronsky away from all the jealous young debs. Her accessories include a tiny pair of opera glasses for when she’s snubbed by her former friends and made a social pariah.
written by Rebecca Hoffman; doll images via barbiecollector.com