During my primary school years, my best friend and I used to play Barbies a lot. It’s a testament to the power of childhood imagination that we found our storylines endlessly fascinating, despite that fact that they were all variations on the same plot.
Good Barbie meets Ken.
Good Barbie and Ken Fall in Love.
Evil Barbie Steals Ken. (Often through some sort of wily scheme involving her clothes coming off, although we had no idea what was supposed to happen after that point. Nakedness alone was the end game, as far as we knew.)
Good Barbie Wins Ken Back.
I’m embarrassed to admit that, in our world, “Good Barbie” was always the prettiest Barbie in our collection, and “Evil Barbie” was my less-attractive Barbie with the 80s crimped hair and sharper face.
This fact makes me furious at both my younger self and the pervading societal influences that led we young girls to equate prettiness with goodness. So furious, in fact, that I wish I could go back in time and slap myself. So furious that I find myself sitting here growing tense, knowing that such messages are still prevalent in the world today. I want to beat such messages with a burning stick of fury and doom and sobs.
Not all variations on a theme are as insidious as those of my childhood Barbie games, of course. Take these flourless peanut butter cookies, for example. I’ve so far used the basic recipe to make both Tabasco Peanut Butter Cookies and Kaya Peanut Butter Cookies.
Recently, though, I decided it was time for a safer and more unequivocally delicious flavour combination: peanut butter and chocolate. A perfect couple.
Plus, you don’t even have to get naked to bring peanut butter and chocolate together.
Though you can if you want.
Question Time: Are there any aspects of your childhood games that, now you’re older and wiser, give you pause and perhaps make you want your own burning stick of doom?