Monday, March 27, 2006

Plastic Piercings

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show off your piercings (or the piercings of someone you know). Ears, belly buttons, noses and etc -- but not, you know, the piercings you couldn't show off in public anyway. Remember, AOL's a "PG" kind of place.

You had me stumped for a moment on this one, J.S.. I seldom even notice other people's pierced ears (except on very small children), but I'm not into self-mutilation, which is what piercing is, IMO. Years ago a friend of mine got a tongue piercing, and I was never able to look him in the face again. It's not up to me what anyone else should do about such things, but my mom never got her ears pierced, and neither have I. Nobody in this house has a pierced anything, although my husband John offered to fake impaling himself for the photo shoot. Yep, that's the man I love!

As I considered the problem, though, I suddenly remembered that there are some pierced ears at Casa Blocher after all. They belong to Barbie:

early Malibu I think, plus paint


And Casey:

Casey, friend of Francie


And Stacey:

Talking Stacey from 1968


Look carefully at these photos, and you'll see the piercings: some in the ear, some just beneath it.

But do these dolls wear their earrings? As you can see, they do not. Here's what happens to a 1964 Barbie that's had metal earrings in for a few decades:

Bubble Cut with green ear...and the earrings that caused the condition


Mind you, that's how the ear looks after I've spent considerable time and effort cleaning up this doll as best I could, using the method recommended on the vintage Barbie fan sites. I probably need to try again, over a period of up to six months. It looked much worse to begin with, though. The camera and the flash accentuate the green a bit, but it's definitely visible to the eye. It looked better still after I originally worked on the head with Tarn-X and cotton, but "green ear disease" tends to come back, spreading outward from the tarnish inside the doll.

The pin-like objects on the left are the kind of earrings that caused all the trouble. Nowadays Mattel (and other makers of "repro" earrings for vintage dolls) make the posts out of plastic, usually nylon.

Barbie's "MODern" cousin's friend, Casey, is a bit hipper than Barbie herself. Casey came with just one earring instead of two - and it's a dangler! I dug out the earring and the swimsuit that came with the doll so you can get some idea how she looked originally.

Casey, friend of Francie


I hope I won't regret this. Even sticking in that corroded and corrosive bit of metal for two minutes deposited more tarnish in Casey's head, which could cause trouble later on. That would be a shame! Casey was my favorite doll as of 1967, when I was ten years old. My original dolls are long gone, but I went to a fair amount of trouble and expense to buy Casey again, and the best gold lamé fishnet swimsuit I could find on eBay, and the darn earring. I should use a pin to poke a little Tarn-Ex into the ear hole, just in case.

Somewhere in this house (Museum of the Weird, remember?) there's a Generation Girl Chelsie with a nose stud. Generation Girl was a line of Barbie and friends with less extreme proportions and hipper accoutrements. They were too hip for the room, though. Plans for multiple piercings, nose studs and tattoos on this line of dolls were scrapped after Mattel received complaints from parents about Butterfly Art Barbie and Butterfly Art Ken, which came with removable tattoos for both doll and child. The Butterfly Art dolls sold well and were not recalled, but only about 5000 Chelsie dolls with the nose stud made it onto the market.

Karen

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*****
Bonus Weirdness, But Not My Weirdness:

This strange and twisted story (as in lots of twists as the mystery unravels) caught my eye tonight in the online edition of the Tucson Citizen. It concerns the headstone of a little boy, a cobbler's son, who died of diptheria in 1911. The headstone is (or was, until very recently) at a trailer park in Pinal County. But where are the bones?

http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/news/local/032706a5_HeadstoneMy


4 comments:

Carly said...

I have no idea why...but those dolls are giving me a serious case of the "wiggins." LOL. "EEk" with a side of "Ack!"

alphawoman said...

I don't remember the Casey doll!! I remember Midge and Skipper! I love this Barbie collection!

santa.n.claus said...

You need to get out more...your a grown woman writing about barbie doll ear peicings...

Karen Funk Blocher said...

And the previous commenter is an ignoramus who hides behind a fake name, doesn't know the difference between the possessive "your" and the contracton "you're," undercapitalizes, misuses the ellipsis and misspells the word "piercings."

Huffily,
Karen

Oh, cool. The Word Verification wants me to type "gobwunk." I'd like to use that in a sentence. "Karen was annoyed by the gobwunk behavior of the troll."