A Night With Barbie, Lady Liberty and the Ghost of My Great Grandmother
BettyConfidential parties with Barbie on Ellis Island.
-April Daniels Hussar
Several lifetimes ago, when the world was bigger, and different, my great-grandmother Margaret Quigley traveled alone, at the age of 16, on a ship that sailed from famine-ravaged Ireland to the promised land of the United States. She passed by the same gorgeous Statue of Liberty that stands today, arrived at Ellis Island, and somehow managed to forge a new life in a new world.
And last week, a century after Margaret arrived, my 7-year-old daughter Isabella (Margaret’s great, great-granddaughter) and I were invited to the launch party celebrating the 30-year anniversary and special exhibit of the Barbie Dolls of the World collection right there on the very same Ellis Island. Representing 40 nations across seven continents, the collection is truly a sight to see, and it was so much fun to watch the giant pink ribbon being cut with – you guessed it – a giant pink pair of scissors!
I drank pink champagne; Isabella was plied with Shirley Temples, and we chatted with doll collectors, fashion bloggers and all sorts of Barbie enthusiasts as we made our way around the exhibit. A highlight of the night was speaking with the gorgeous Linda Kyaw, who designed the new Dolls of the World Landmark Collection Barbies unveiled that night: Statue of Liberty Barbie, Big Ben Barbie, and Eiffel Tower Barbie, each of whom wears gowns representing the landmarks of their homelands. (Statue of Liberty Barbie is obviously the most awesome Barbie, and not just because of her perfect white-blond Farrah Fawcett hair.) You can see a bunch of pics here and also at Barbie’s Facebook page (yes of course Barbie has a Facebook!)
Linda kindly explained her job to Isabella – how she makes the sketches and decides which accessories the Barbies should have and how their makeup will look and, of course designs their outfits and gowns …