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Jenny Isenman

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Barbie and I Cannot Get Our Jeans Over Our Thighs

Posted: 03/28/2012 10:05 am

No matter what your weight or size, most of us have experienced that moment when we realize it's time to "retire" a pair of our favorite jeans because they just don't fit anymore. Damn you, slowing metabolism. Damn you, gravity. Damn you, left over mac n' cheese.

Yesterday, while trying to dress my daughter's Barbie in a stunning pair of black and silver lamé jeans, I realized they weren't going over her thighs. WTF? Had she borrowed a pair from Skipper? Was it her time of the month? Was she spending too much time in her Barbie McDonalds and not enough on her Barbie bike?

All I know is, this scene seemed oddly familiar. Trying to yank some slim pants over unyielding thighs... where had I seen that before?

Oh right, my closet, that's where.

At first, I felt a tinge of pity for Barbie. I breathed an empathetic sigh as I resolved to get those once-fitting lamé pants over her rubbery legs. Maybe a little Crisco would work? Hmm, does that mean I should be buttering up my legs to get those J Brand Cigarette jeans back in the rotation?

Frankly, both of us could use some form of buttering up, right about now.

Well, in lieu of greasing her down, I accepted the fact that this chick may need to drop a pound or two if she wants to get back into those knickers. It was then that I felt an odd sense of camaraderie. You know, like I could look into her painted on Barbie eyes and say:

"Yeah I know, it sucks right? You and your shiny hot pants with the built-in belt and me with my favorite jeans (the ones that were once a bit loose)... we're quite the pair, huh?

Remember the old days? You know, when we could eat what we wanted and still make Ken's head turn? G-d I miss them.

We'd both sigh in unison as we contemplated the years we've left behind.

Oh, to be young again. What are you now Barbie, like 50? Seriously, you look good, girl. You shouldn't be looking at me with those sad eyes.

Sure, they gave you a breast reduction, but frankly those things were getting in the way of your modern career options. Pro tennis player, Doctor, Veterinarian, Fashion Designer -- no one could take you seriously with those measurements.

As soon as they started calling you an "airline attendant" instead of a "stewardess," your days with those puppies were numbered. Well, I don't have to tell you that.

Her little head would look down at her smaller boobs and she'd nod appreciatively.

Now look at us. A couple of has-been sexpots, zipping up our pants with pliers. The other day, I noticed that you had a grey in one of your hair plugs. I pulled it. I know, two will surely grow back, but I couldn't resist. You were sleeping in that hammock that attaches to the camper and I didn't want to wake you. I imagine it's hard enough to fall asleep in that thing, not to mention the back pain you must have by morning.

Oh Barbie, what have we resorted to? I uh, I know this may be a touchy subject but, I saw you throwing up the other day after my daughter fed you that plastic turkey at a pretend dinner party. I saw you, and so did that token brunette Barbie, what's her face? Kelly, no, Stacie? I don't know, but it was a real eye-opener."

After contemplating our moment of bonding, I felt something I never expected... joy. Yep, that's where I think the story gets sick. (I know you may have had that thought a while back when I outed Barbie as a bulimic.) But, for me, it got a bit alarming when I felt a sudden sense of delight in Barbie's pain. Like, "Wahoo, I'm not the only one assessing my need to go back to the gym. Now, you know what it feels like Barbie! You with your Dream Townhouse, and your Glam jet, and your "Not so Roughin' it" camper, and your perfect hair, and your perfect tan, you're not so perfect anymore, are you? So, suck it!"

I don't know what this says about me, other than my need for a new workout regimen, a better diet and a visit to my therapist. I like to think that I'm usually a person who is excited over other people's accomplishments, beautification-wise and otherwise, but I realized there is some evil part of me that enjoyed commiserating about having less efficient metabolism, spreading hip bones, an aging butt, and a thigh complex -- even if that someone was Barbie.

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