Kinky

I can still remember reading this book on the airplane back from an AWP conference. It might be because I wasn’t above playing Barbies with my girl friends when I was a kid that this book really appeals to me. I don’t think it’s limited to the Barbie experience, though–even my G. I. Joe action figures had complicated relationships and rich imagined lives, and took frequent and long-term exotic vacations together.

I love this book for its obsession. It relentlessly reinvents Barbie again and again.

Read one way, it’s stand up comedy.

Read a little more deeply, it’s a tender and touching tribute.

Read even further, it’s a smart and biting social critique, not just of Barbie or of the man’s world or standards placed upon women, but of the culture that is both blind to this fact and completely beholden to it.

Plus, the brilliance of all the invented Barbies–Mormon Barbie, Sister Barbie, Apocalyptic Barbie, Bisexual Barbie, just to name a few.

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