Outskirts online journal

Evelyn Hartog

Further information

About the author

Evelyn Hartog read literature and philosophy graduating in 1991 from the University of Queensland. From 1992 to 1996 Evelyn has performed at galleries, cabarets, nightclubs, dance parties and seminars. She uses iconography of women to displace and subvert limiting notions of femininity. Her book of performance pieces, Sold Out, was released in September 1995 at the Brisbane Writers Fringe Festival.

This piece was first performed in June 1994 at Bartleme Galleries, Brisbane.

Publication details

Volume 2, November 1996

Barbie the Virgin Forever

I love what you're wearing! Let's read some fashion magazines. I've got a show pony! [Repeat several times ad lib faster and louder each time]

... Please be seated ... Presenting the Forever Virgin ... But what am I going to wear? Tonight is my Dream Date with Ken and I haven't had time to go to the Mall, I'll have to wear something ... twice!! This isn't the first time this year I haven't been able to make it to the Mall to get a new outfit! It's just... well ... I've had so much to do, like my hair...oh and career options too! Options! Huh! Oh Yeah Barbie can be Nurse to Doctor Ken or Flight Attendant when he's pilot When I did finally get a chance to be a doctor it was as Madame maternal with a new born baby in my arms: blue rug for boys, pink rug for girls! In 1993 l was presidential candidate, I wasn't even in the running. Finally I thought they were taking me seriously, Sucked in again Barbie!

Every damn year for the last thirty-seven years it's been the same deal: I can have any dress, any holiday, any pony, any shoes, ... almost any career - as long as it doesn't threaten Ken's career and as long as I'm sexually attractive at all times and always available for a date. Then the Dream Date, (sigh) every year it's part of my reward, it signifies that again I'll achieve my ultimate goal: marriage. Yes tonight on the Dream Date Ken will give me a beautiful ring, my payment for keeping both my mouths shut.

Every year it's the same: I get the ring, the shoes, the wedding dress, even the groom. But I never seem to actually 'get married. ' They think I haven't noticed the same cycle year after year, they think I'll be distracted by all my dresses and shoes, they think that's all I need! Well they never asked what I needed. They told me, and when they let me speak I had to use their words ...

[aside as if conspiring] You know ... It was me that slipped in 'Maths class is tough', not because I'm dumb (I do manage to colour co-ordinate three times a day) not because I'm a bimbo, but because... well ... I did find it hard. I never could seem to get the teacher's attention. He seemed distracted by the boys and they told me it's not pretty or nice to interrupt... Iike the boys do .... They didn't take 'Maths class is tough' away because it was some stereotype that women aren't good at maths. They took it away because it was a woman complaining, because Barbie was saying a need was not being fulfilled. I was being serious about something, it was my mind not my body and who wants to hear about that!

They hand me a credit card and pop me into my pink Ferrari and they think: she's got it made! So jealous. She's so pretty, she's so nice, I wish I could be her!

Well these shoes are killing me and my feet are permanently deformed!! [Lift feet out of silver high heels showing instep at high heel angle]

Little girls write me letters asking how they can have a figure like mine. They won't let me reply, though my publicity agent does all that. But if I could reply I would tell them, yes, well, yes, it is possible to have a figure like mine. First remove the lower half of your ribcage and have your internal organs compacted. Oh and your womb, forget about that, fertility is not where I'm at. l mean how could I menstruate, they don't make tampons that go through solid plastic. [aside] Ha! At least I don't have to worry about waxing my bikini line, I've never had any pubic hair! [Clear throat, slightly embarrassed]

So I would tell the young girls to strap their feet from age eight, bleach their hair, pluck their eyebrows and worry, no, agonise about what to wear. Above all remember to be passive, pretty and nice with a capital submission. Your face is your fortune. All I am is beauty all I am is the ultimate femininity missile and I'm aimed right at marriage. But I never seem to make it, I guess a married Barbie would have to give up all the glamour, I mean I don't see Ken as the house husband type, he'd be embarrassed admitting it at dinner parties.

I'm trapped between puberty and marriage, I can never progress, I can never be free except in my dreams ... I'm the first women to enter Game boy! (As a player not a princess needing rescue) I'm a Game girl, I can do anything, be anything, but the object of the game is to keep me asleep. While I'm pacified I can dream an adventure, perhaps one I couldn't have in the real world. But one thing remains the same in the dream world and the real world ... My only weapons are my charms.

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