Tuesday, April 6, 1993

Los Angeles Times reports on Richard Grayson's "Twelve Step Barbie"

The Los Angeles Times today (Tuesday, April 6, 1993) has an "Only in L.A." column by Steve Harvey on page B2 that mentions a story by Richard Grayson in Mondo Barbie, edited by Richard Peabody and Lucinda Ebersole (St. Martin's Press):

That girl: The editors of "Mondo Barbie" describe their irreverent anthology of fiction and poetry dealing with the improbably shaped blonde as "the answer to . . . all that misplaced Barbie Angst, all that childhood conditioning, torture and repression."

All in 185 pink pages, none of them, needless to say, authorized by El Segundo-based Mattel.

This is not the blankly smiling Barbie of store shelves. The works carry such titles as "Hells Angel Barbie," "Barbie Meets the Scariest Fatso Yet," "Barbie Comes Out" and "The Barbie Murders."

In one story, Barbie complains of Ken: "Have you ever noticed, he has molded plastic hair. His head and his hair are all one piece. I can't go out with a guy like that."

Then there's Richard Grayson's "Twelve-Step Barbie," which presents an older Barbie, an Alcoholics Anonymous member living alone, resentful of the younger women in workout classes, irritated that the loan officer at the bank doesn't recognize her (she has an asbestos removal business). She finds some satisfaction in giving volunteer health education lectures to teen-agers.

Author Grayson's Ken has changed, too -- "after he disappeared from Barbie's life . . . he became Gender Reassignment Ken and finally Kendra." Upon getting back together, Barbie and Kendra discover "what they liked about each other, what they had missed the first time." They become best girlfriends.

GRAPHIC: Photo, An off-the-wall journal about Barbie reveals that she hates Ken's plastic hair.