• Tue. May 21st, 2024

My First Barbie: POPSUGAR Editors Share Their Most Memorable Barbie


Jul 18, 2023

My true first Barbie is a hand-me-down of Great Shape Barbie from the ’80s that my mom gave me when I was a kid. (Think: teal spandex and a high ponytail.) That Barbie has since switched outfits hundreds of times and become lost in a pile of nostalgic childhood memories back home. Another of my first — and favorite — Barbies, though, was “The Wizard of Oz” Dorothy Barbie from 1999. A gift from my parents, she came with a basket, a pair of ruby slippers, her classic gingham dress with the puff sleeved blouse underneath, and a Toto figurine. Best of all, she was my first TALKING Barbie, and her ruby slippers lit up thanks to miniature lights implanted in her feet — basically the coolest present a 4-year-old in the ’90s could ever imagine.

I watched “The Wizard of Oz” a lot as a kid, and even though the flying monkeys freaked me out, something about seeing Dorothy switch from black-and-white to technicolor was always magical. Plus my signature hairstyle as a kid was a pair of braids — usually tied up with knocker bead hair ties and butterfly clips from Claire’s — so I definitely felt a kinship with Dorothy whenever I played with her. She was also one of the few Barbies I had who remained in her original outfit most of the time — mainly because her arms were rigid and it’s hard to navigate tiny sleeves over stiff elbows.

I definitely had other Barbies that frequently fell victim to fashion faux pas and became the center of whatever drama my preschool-age mind imagined, but Dorothy was like the cool older sister that oversaw it all. Nowadays, her batteries may be dead, but I know she’s stowed away safely with the rest of my childhood mementos if I ever need a reminder that there’s no place like home.


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