Monday Confessional: Get Your Sparkle On!

A few weeks ago, Zoe came home from a trip to Barnes and Noble with Dad clutching a little sparkly book featuring a jeweled castle on the cover. Unbeknownst to Jason, he had just introduced our innocent little girl to the wonderful world of BARBIE and all that she has to offer. Which, these days, is a marketing push that rivals that of a Disney princess.

Now, I was a Barbie girl. I have memories of being 10 and having elaborate Barbie playdates with my friends. I actually still have a few "special Barbies", in boxes, that I will never open. I always loved that pinkalicious plastic doll, and even friended her Facebook persona last year.  

So when Zoe demanded that I read Barbie and the Diamond Castle book 50 times in a row, I was (secretly) a little pleased. But the book just didn't make sense, and there were major plot holes. I know, it's a Barbie book for Christ's sake, but it made me wonder...Later I Googled the title and realized that the book didn't stand alone. That it was just one tiny piece of the Barbie and the Diamond Castle empire, yet I still couldn't really grasp what we just inadvertantly stumbled upon. 

Since the "Diamond Castle" is an older DVD, the dolls and accessories that go hand-in-hand with the movie are harder to come by these days. All we could really find is the movie's single "Connected" on iTunes - a song (also featured in the tween movie Aquamarine) that I have now endured listened to about 5,000 times. But for the newer movies, the aisles at Target are chalk full of dolls, dresses, books, stickers and play areas themed to match, with the newest edition to the collection being Barbie: A Fashion Fairy Tale.

The movie starts off with the simple message that even Barbie has bad days. First she is fired from her movie for questioning the motives of the director and his inclusion of Zombie peas in the classic "Princess and the Pea" story. Then, not moments later, she is heartlessly dumped by long-time beau Ken via a cellphone call. With her good friends there to support her by taking her iPhone from her and telling her she is not allowed to "call, email, text or tweet Ken" they offer to take her to Melrose for an Ice Blended and a mani/pedi to get her mind off her troubles. But Barbie wants to get further away and takes off to Paris with her dog, Sequin, to visit her Aunt Millicent at her Parisian fashion house. 

{Yes. I'm telling the truth. THIS IS HOW THE MOVIE STARTS.}

During her romp in Paris, Barbie tries to save her Aunt's failing business, rescues the "Flaries" (They don't have wings but they fly around spreading flare!), meets fashion designing dogs and of course (SPOILER ALERT!) saves the day while Ken makes a grand romantic gesture to fix the misunderstanding of their break-up. With Barbie dropping words like "redonculous" and the Flaries exclaiming it's time to "Get your sparkle on!" this movie is really a sign of the times that our daughters are growing up in.

Okay, yes. It totally IS mindless blather. But the underlying messages of this movie and the Diamond Castle movie are positive and do promote a sense of "girl power." While there are male characters in each of the movies, they are never there to "save the day" - that's Barbie's job. With themes that talk about working hard to achieve your goals, following your passions and, of course, the power of having great girlfriends, I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the Barbie movies so far. They may be a bit stupid, but let's be honest here, they are straight-to-DVD fare aimed at 3-6 year old girls. And I have to say that the songs are fun, catchy and completely appropriate for 3 year olds to sing without you having to worry that they they, or an older sibling, may have to ask what "Gin and Juice" or Daisy Dukes are. That being said, the song may still make your ears bleed by the 25th time on repeat... 

So there you have it. It's Monday November 8th and my confession: I like Barbie Movies. And I totally downloaded this song... because you know what? There IS magic in cashmere! Oh, oh, oh, oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh!



*Disclosure: Mattel, or the studio who produces the Barbie movies did NOT contact me and ask me to review this movie. This review was of my own accord on a purchased product b/c I felt that I needed to share that Barbie says "redonculous."