6 min read
A sit down interview with the world famous doll who turned 56, and who, it may come as a surprise to many, is Jewish.
March 9, 2015 was a spectacular day for the legendary Jewish “doll” Barbie who, celebrating her 56th Birthday. A huge gala was thrown in her honor. Wait. You didn’t know she was Jewish? Well Barbie is full of surprises. She sat down with Jewlarious to talk life, love and her decision to reconnect with her Jewish roots.
Barbie, you say that you’re Jewish but your background is a little confusing
JEWLARIOUS: So, Barbie …. a million of you have been sold in 150 countries. That’s some achievement.
BARBIE: Yeah, right. Over 50 years, everywhere I look … me. How would you feel if there were a million of you? You’d feel farmisht! Half the time I’m talking to myself and it’s not even me I’m talking to. Once I was so crazy, they were thinking of making “Meshugge Barbie.” Only those anti-Semites in Saudi Arabia don’t want to know from me. Meanwhile, I can’t even go to Saudi Arabia … a Jew – not that I’d want to.
JEWLARIOUS: So, Barbie … your background. You say that you’re Jewish but your background is a little confusing. According to your official bio, your whole name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, and you grew up in Willows, Wisconsin to George and Margaret Roberts. Your father was an engineer and your mother, nee Rawlins, was a homemaker. Your sibs are Skipper, Stacie, Todd, Chelsea and Krissy and you went to Willows High School. Doesn’t sound very Jewish…
BARBIE: LIES! All lies and PR!
JEWLARIOUS: So, what’s the truth?
BARBIE: First of all I went to Manhattan International High School, which was even better than Stuyvesant. We beat them on “College Bowl.” My real parents, were Ruth and Elliot Handler. At home we called him Papa Izzy. Mama’s family, the Moskos, came from Poland. Mama was the baby of 10!
JEWLARIOUS: So why the phony background?
BARBIE: Oy mamala. It was all hype for the gentiles! They wanted me to appeal to people from Peoria to Muscatoona, Mississippi. In 1959 girls from South Dakota would relate to a curly headed slightly zaftig intellect named Devorah with a killer I.Q. wearing a tasteful wig?? Ha! They even threw in my bio that my grandmother was a Princess!
JEWLARIOUS: A Princess?
BARBIE: Some “Princess.” My grandfather was a blacksmith in Denver, Colorado. I had two sibs, Barbara and Kenneth. To tell us apart, Mama would call my sister B1 and me, B2. We often spoke Yiddish or Polish, when bubbe came over. OY … her Lokshen kugel was to die for!
JEWLARIOUS: So why did you put up with this?
BARBIE: What could I do? A smart-talking agent, Swifty Lazarus, said to my parents … “Put this girl in my hands and you’ll never have to worry about paying for Harvard again!” Oy, did Mama Ruth and Swifty fight!! But he had some hoo-hah contract drawn up by Laurie Allbread! A flea couldn’t get through that paper!
JEWLARIOUS: What were the biggest fights they had?
BARBIE: There were so many. Let’s see. There’s was the time they wanted to put tattoos on me. That was a bad one. Tattoos on a Jewish girl? A sin it was. Bubbe almost plotzed! … Then in my teen years, they had me say, are you ready? "Will we ever have enough clothes?", "I love shopping!", and "Wanna have a pizza party?" There were 270 of these phrases which made me feel like such a shmegegge! One other was “Math class is tough!" Please. If math class was tough, you think I would have made astronaut?! Go on … test me!
JEWLARIOUS: OK … Hmmm. What is x and y from the equations 3x - 2y = 5 and x + y = 5?
BARBIE: x = -3 and y = -2
BARBIE: Tell me. And the whole world thinks I’m “Duh.”
JEWLARIOUS: I know this is a sore subject, but can you talk a little about Ken Carson?
BARBIE: That no-goodnik?! Over 40 years dating. Over 40 years promising marriage! I have 36 wedding dresses just hanging. Even Midge got married. MIDGE, yet, who between us, is a lovely person, but has the brains of a speed bump. Meanwhile Ken was busy with his yacht, his fency-dency outfits and who knows what else? So I threw him out.
JEWLARIOUS: On a more pleasant note, you’ve had 100 careers! Which were your favorites and worst?
BARBIE: Hmmm. My favorite was running for President in 1992. Would I win? No. But when I heard that Khnyok … that evil racist head of the KKK, David Duke was running I felt it was my Jewish duty to throw my Chapeau D’Amour into the ring. As for jobs I hated …. Hmmm. Ah, being a NASCAR driver! The people, the fakakta tail gaiting parties … and the fiery deaths … this is for a Jewish woman? Name one Jewish female NASCAR driver?
JEWLARIOUS: Tonight, at the gala … the world was surprised to see you dressed demurely, even Frum.
BARBIE: You bet! It’s about time the Real Barbie came out of the shiksa closet and stopped with the mesghugge fashions! It’s enough with dying my hair already. With all that dying, trust me, you don’t want to see my roots. Also it’s enough with the plastic space age Botox, the hate mail, and my phony cousins. It’s enough hearing "a shanda fur die goyim!” My contract was for 55 years! It’s time to live a Jewish life! A married life with a Jewish man! So … write this down. Are you writing? I’ve decided to retire and make aliyah to Israel, change my name to Bar-El , yes, “Bar-EL Barbie” – work for my people and become a true mensch! Also, if anyone knows of a man, maybe 60 with serious intentions, send to me a photo. Meanwhile darling … I have to go pack.
JEWLARIOUS: Thank you Barbie … and may you live to 120!
BARBIE: Don’t worry, I will. And Biz hundert un tsvantsik back to you.