While I was growing up, I absolutely loved Barbie. I would beg my mother for a new Barbie every time we ventured into the toy department. As soon as we neared those Pepto Bismol-pink displays, I would get butterflies and daydream of Barbie’s and my next adventure together.
On one such trip, my mother finally acquiesced and bought me Peaches ‘n’ Cream Barbie. She kept her in the closet and said she would be my birthday gift.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) for me, Peaches ‘n’ Cream sat in her pink box staring down at me with her eternally painted smile through her see-through plastic window. I looked forward to our reunion with eagerness.
Back in the day when yours truly was just getting comfortable in my own skin circa the mid-90s, I realized something which would soon exasperate me to no end, but which I found pretty cool at the time: I was taller than every other girl in my class and as tall or taller than some of the boys.
I thought it would keep boys from picking on me, but instead some of them (the runts) were intimidated by me. All the girls secretly envied me, telling me wistfully that I could be a runway model, given my height and (stick) figure.
WHAT THEY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT WAS THE TEARFUL FRUSTRATION OF A TEENAGE GIRL WHO WANTED TO LOOK CUTE IN CLOTHES THAT WERE ALWAYS TOO SHORT EVERYWHERE—SLEEVES, LEGS—OR HUNG LIKE A TENT WHEN GOING UP A SIZE.
What they didn’t know about was the tearful frustration of a teenage girl who wanted to look cute in clothes that were always too short everywhere—sleeves, legs—or hung like a tent when going up a size. It was incorrectly assumed that I must be an expert at basketball and volleyball, but when the cat was out of the bag, I would hang my head in shame.