Listen up, naughty girls.
Do you long to be an "ordinary schoolgirl" by day who "transforms at
night" into some sort of scary pink-robed glittery giggly perky blond
pseudo-witch "magical enchantress" thing, perusing your "book of
spells" with its plethora of "mysterious compartments" that "hold your
secrets," along with recipes for concocting real potions "you can
You do? Well Jesus with an orgasmic wolf howl and some heavy goth
eyeliner, are you ever in luck.
Because just in time for Halloween and just in time to make a few
thousand hyper-Christian parental brows furrow with consternation and
spiritual constipation, and just in time to make any true Wiccan roll
her eyes and flick this story away like so much bad juju, here comes
Secret Spells Barbie.
That's right, it's Mattel's latest Wiccan-flavored mutation of the
famous and famously obnoxious pneumatic blond dingbat, joining the
likes of Barbie Loves Spongebob Squarepants and the Barbie Romance
Novel Giftset and Princess of the Portuguese Empire Barbie and Spirit
of the Earth Barbie (all genuine items, alas).
Not to mention the long-desired Manic Depressive PR Exec DivorcÈe
Barbie and Resentful Proctologist Barbie and Bloated
Don't-You-Freaking-Touch-Me PMS Barbie and Desperately Lonely National
Security Advisor "Condi" Barbie, with bonus Spinning Head feature.
presumably, coming soon.
Hey, witches are cool. Everyone knows witches are cool. Way, way cool.
Willow from "Buffy" was cool, and the vaguely lesbian witchly
on "Charmed" are ostensibly cool (in a bitchy backstabbing
black-mascara mall-hopping sort of way), and even "Sabrina the Teenage
Witch" is passably cool if you're, like, 12, ditto the entire whack
"Sailor Moon" anime universe, because anime is just way cool, just by
And of course Harry Potter, the king himself, is still despoiling
millions of young minds with his blasphemous heathen wizard spells and
preteen angst and secret burgeoning lust to discover what magic
dazzling transformational enchanted wunderfrump lies beneath
Yes, Secret Spells Barbie is a witch. Sort of. But not really. Even
though she is. But Mattel would never dare call her that, of course.
Barbie just, you know, dabbles. Plays around. Casts a "spell," then
twirls her hair and pops her gum and giggles a lot and then goes
shopping. This is what Barbie does.
Nothing seriously Wiccan here, nothing remotely intelligent or in
or knowledgeable about true witchcraft or magick or Wiccan belief, of
course, because were Mattel to venture too far and dare to actually
educate or inspire young maidens to shun church and embrace nature and
dye their hair black and change their name to Raven Wolfdancer and
start holding slumber parties/yoni awakenings on the winter solstice,
why, terrified Christians would almost certainly rise up and light
torches and march on their local pseudo-Christian Wal-Marts, which
would immediately stop carrying the demonic lesbian Wiccan dolls that
only masquerade as oversequined sanitized blonds with the equivalent
No, SS Barbie apparently takes witchcraft about as seriously as, say,
hair barrette. About as seriously as the caulking on the Dream House.
About as seriously as Ken's deeply repressed desire for a Barbie-size
strap-on and a serious S&M whipping.
And yet. Apparently there's a TV commercial for this new doll, one
instructs Secret Spells Barbie fans to gather "at a secret time, in a
secret place" to enact these "secret spells."
And then it cuts to a shot of our fair witches-in-training "secreted"
away at the library mixing "potions" and "doing spells" and one rogue
girl perks up and asks whether the spells actually work, and sure
enough right then a hunky teen boy appears and strolls right up to the
girl who has the Secret Spells "kit," and she grins all knowingly and
enchantingly and giggle titter wink ooh isn't this wacky witchcraft
It is just so cute. And it is just so sad. Because you could argue
Secret Spells Barbie signifies the ultimate saccharine dumbed-down
heavily bleached mainstreaming of witchcraft and Wicca, sucking poor
little Harry Potter dry and embarrassing even Sabrina and deflating
the joy and sexiness and funky chthonic wonder out of witchcraft and
magic, and for this Mattel can rightfully be jeered at and besotted
with night sweats and made to wear the Cursed Necklace of Dhzarzebub.
And, furthermore, you could say that Witch Wanna-Be Barbie exemplifies
a deep and rather obnoxious insult to true Wiccans everywhere, the
equivalent of Mattel launching some sort of perky bare-thighed Islamic
Fundamentalist Barbie or maybe Frigid Catholic Nun Barbie or Wide-Eyed
Rosicrucianist Barbie or even Creepy Cult of Scientology Barbie with
Deluxe Tinfoil Hat and Fanatical Grin.
You could say that. But it's not really worth it. Because more than
anything else, you just have to say that this incarnation of the
world's best-selling virgin, this premolded hunk of insidious white
plastic that inflicts the initial lashings of the American beauty myth
on millions of young girls, is utterly, shamelessly useless.
Secret Spells Barbie is, despite her potential and much like every one
of the 150,000 weird sub-subniche Barbies on the market, entirely
pointless and disposable and, unless the girls who end up with her
somehow tap into their inner badass witchiness and suddenly get
inspired by some divine funky moonscream to rip off Barbie's arms and
paint her hair bright red and tattoo her nipples with a Magic Marker
and impale her on a red-hot hair pin and suspend her upside down from
dreamcatcher, well, she does nothing to further the cause of funky
gorgeous goddess-thick witchness and nothing to further the cause of
earthly luscious pagan interconnectedness or divine feminine power.
Not that she claims to. Not that this was ever Mattel's point, or
Barbie's raison d'etre, really. And I suppose it's sort of wildly
unfair to hope that Barbie might actually inspire girls beyond the
hair-twirling saccharine fetishism of shopping and friends and cars
boys and shopping and money and dye jobs and shopping and fake
careerism and shopping.
But in Secret Spells Barbie, there was a glimpse. There was a glimmer
of hope that underneath her massive drapery of blond follicles and
beneath that massive melon chest and beneath that huge pink cheap
sequined magic robe beat the raw red heart of a latent pagan
just dying to bust out of that whitebread virgin faux-Christian Botox
world and get it on with the divine, even a little. Alas, it's not to
Oh, Barbie. When, oh when, will you strip down and writhe in the woods
and howl at the moon?
Danu, is nothing sacred? Thanks to Black Lady for passing this one on...