Alyssa and I have a horribly inappropriate line of Barbie and Ken dolls based on some very politically incorrect stereotypes. We began creating them about 10 years ago but decided not to market them because God wouldn’t think it was very nice. We have one called “Perfect Christian Barbie”. Her name is Joy-Ellen: she wears her hair in a bun with slacks, a button down shirt with puffed sleeves and sensible shoes. She doesn’t allow her children to say the word “fart”. Then there’s Donnell. He’s a skinny white guy who wears his pants below his butt and a flat brimmed hat that’s always sideways. He drives a pimped out 1999 Honda Civic with awesome rims and a kick-butt stereo but the hatch has to be closed with a bungee cord. The Civic is sold separately.
Stuff like that shouldn’t enter my mind, probably, and here I am broadcasting it for the world (or 10 people) to see. I do have a reason, though, and it isn’t solely entertainment. Sometimes my lenses get fuzzy. While I should be loving people right where they are I’m busy inventing imaginary dolls based on what I think of them, or a composite of similar personalities. So to be fair, I thought I’d invent a Barbie based on myself.
“Stressed Out Summer” comes dressed in jeans she’s worn for 4 days, boots she wears so often they may as well be part of her uniform and we don’t know if she even has a shirt on because her coat never comes off. If her shirt did come off it would reveal stretch marks covering her entire abdominal area. She has a realistic callous on her left hand from logging 3,000 miles per month driving to and from work and taking the children to activities. She only eats one full meal a day and comes with a bag full of Goldfish crackers, a 2-liter of Pepsi Max and an orange. Her crazed, glazed over eyes are bloodshot and her hair is frizzy. She used to have a van from a previous decade but now drives a 2002 Chevy Suburban that she no longer needs since most of her children drive.
“Stressed Out Summer” lives in a cute little farmhouse that is never fully clean for more than 10 minutes. The dining room table doubles as storage for folded clothes her children (all sold separately) seem to believe will put themselves away magically. The sink comes complete with dirty dishes, which have decreased in number since she started buying paper products (because it was either the environment or her sanity, people). Tiny dog can be purchased separately and is programmed never to die, even after she eats Silica gel, Brillo pads and chocolate.
You get the idea. If I was a doll, no one would buy me. So it’s easy to assume that if people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me. Authenticity is difficult. It’s risky. I struggle with it every day. How do I become the person I’m called to be without offending someone? Guess what? I don’t. Does that mean I sit in judgment of others? Absolutely not – but that does mean I speak the truth in love. It is quite an impossible task without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who resides in those of us who have invited Him. I encourage you to let God, not status, body image, wealth, poverty, race, home life, life stage or anything else define you. Let us all put down our defenses and just be real. You aren’t alone. We are all imperfect. Even Barbie, who, if she was an actual person, would be 5’9”, have a 39” bust, an 18” waist, 33” hips, a size 3 shoe and weigh 110 pounds, putting her BMI at 16.24, which fits the weight criteria for anorexia. I’m not judging you, Barbie, but for the love of all that is holy, eat a cheeseburger, girl.