Hollywood. An area of Los Angeles where magic is made and dreams are realized. Also, a place where the lowest forms of life live and an infinite line of dreams are routinely and grossly shattered. It’s where the best and brightest go to show the world what they’ve got and everybody else below them means little. No one stays at the top for very long and the mighty fall hard.
Hollywood’s about making money through entertainment. It has to be bigger than life or it won’t be considered. The problem is that there’s a really big disconnect between the producers of the entertainment and the consumers. So they find something that’s popular and try to make it better, meaning they’re always looking for things to soup up. Sequels are often the result. But for marketers an obviously low-hanging fruit is toys. Merchandising. Think George Lucas got rich with theater ticket sales?
So naturally, it’s time to destroy Barbie.
I have to state upfront I don’t see the attraction girls do to that toy/doll, but as the father of a 4-year-old girl, I play Barbie all the time, as best as I can. My daughter loves playing with dolls and creating scenarios and having them do things like she does, and pretend they’re different people. It’s a healthy outlet for creativity and I support her obsession with them. I’ll make accessories for her to play with them, like gluing a screw onto a Coke cap to make a frying pan, a pipe cleaner and old baby sock for a backpack, making beds out of shoeboxes, and other lame efforts.
But the point of the thing is to have the child use her imagination to develop certain skills and create worlds and interact with other dolls and feed her mind. Hollywood steps in and says “we’ll show you what Barbie does, and who Barbie is.” And not only will they get it wrong, but they’ll also do so in the most politically-correct way that all the fun and magic will just die.
In a sense, the media, and Hollywood, have become our cultural government. Of course, sponsored by McDonalds and Diet Coke.