Plastic right? Perfect in every way. Slim waists and doe eyes, happy looks and perfect closets. Every day. I'd wake up and live out a dream. The dream house, the convertible. The pink dresses and shoes. Barbie. She was blonde like me. Happy and perfect in every way.
Though she was perfect, I always wanted a new Barbie doll. Each one a carbon copy of the last, this time with a new outfit, a new eyeshadow, a new personality. It's intriguing right? The ability to change? Every birthday I'd ask for another, and Christmas another. I'd fill my shelves with limited-edition dolls, you know, the ones with the sparkling dresses and perfect hair...holiday make-up and smiles that could kill.
Barbie was the tangible perfection every little girl dreamed of. High on the shelves, fitted in plastic and bullet-proof fashion. She glittered like gold and smelled like Chanel. She was the apex of perfection, the solid foundation that adult happiness built itself on.
I wanted to be her.
I wanted to be her so badly.
Quickly into my adolescence, I realized that wasn't possible.
I didn't grow shiny beautiful hair. I chopped it off and dyed it green...fucked up the roots and ended up platinum. I didn't have a perfect smile. I had an overbite. I didn't have perfect eyes. I had blood shot monstrosities. My world wasn't a dream. it was a nightmare. I wasn't ungrateful. I just hated myself.
This of course, was a projection, against the beauty of Barbie. To any other soul I looked just fine.
You see..I'm not thin. I never was and I never will be. I'm healthy, normal even (if that even means anything). I had friends though that fit that mold. And I grew hateful and jealous of them. They were prettier than me, so I had to work harder for everything. I turned my eye to music, writing, art...things that didn't reject me because of a lack of perfection.
But she never left my mind, like a haunting call over a battlefield her presence stayed close. Barbie, she was a ghost. A call to perfection, a call to not being good enough.
The years wore on and I placed Barbie on the shelf, casting the idea of a perfect life on the side. I am not like her in any way. I didn't grow up lean and tall, I didn't grow into my features. Barbie's long perfect frame didn't look anything like me. The blonde hair was the only similarity I held to my childhood heroine.
Perfection, it seemed would allude me forever, casting shadows upon once happy memories.
I started wearing a lot of makeup and hiding myself, seeing the scars and cuts, wrinkles and imperfections as visual reminders of my mistakes.
I'm not going to go on forever, but I still hate myself, a bit because I'm too sensitive, and a bit because of Barbie. Although I can't blame her for everything. I had to learn.
There is, in all reality, a standard. Whether you meet it or not, you end up failing. You can never, ever meet expectations of perfection.
My brand of success didn't match Barbie's and although I'm unsure why, I'm learning that's a good thing.
To trust. To learn. To make an impact. People reach out every day, claiming that I helped, that I cared, that I mattered.
Somewhere down that dusty road, where hatred meets acceptance, I learned that Barbie, and perfection aren't something to be admired. They're not things that exist in real life.
Barbie is a fictional character. And perfection is an illusion.