In 2017, the Mattel Toy Company committed a heinous act of cripple genocide.
Twenty years earlier, the company started making a Barbie doll friend that used a wheelchair. They gave her the cornball name of Share a Smile Becky, but at least it was something.
But then some kids started complaining that Becky’s wheelchair was too wide to fit through the doorways of Barbie’s fucking Dreamhouse. And Becky’s long hair often got tangled in her wheels.
So how did Mattel ultimately respond? They stopped manufacturing Becky. Just like that—poof—she was gone! So long! Adios!
Whatever executive made that decision must’ve derived a certain sadistic pleasure from it because it didn’t have to be that way. Mattel could’ve started making Becky as upright and bipedal as all the other Barbies and pronounced her cured. But no, they had to go and kill her off. They had to make an example out of her. It delivered a harsh message to all the ungrateful spoiled brats about what happens when you complain too much.
Okay I guess it wasn’t technically genocide because Mattel allowed all the Becky dolls already in circulation to continue to exist. They didn’t send their stormtroopers door-to-door ransacking little girls’ bedrooms, confiscating their Becky dolls and hurling them into a bonfire. They were content to let Becky dolls become extinct by attrition.
But now Mattel says that in the fall they will roll out not just one but two new crippled dolls. One is in a wheelchair and one has a removable prosthetic leg. Mattel says it’s their way of reflecting the full spectrum of human diversity.
So I suppose they think that makes up for everything, huh? We’re all just supposed to forgive and forget what they did to our crippled sister Becky.
But I say hell no! Don’t let them off the hook. Now is the time to bitch louder than ever!
If Mattel wants to represent the full spectrum of human diversity, they can’t just plop a doll in a wheelchair or give one half a leg and say they’ve got cripples covered. There’s a full spectrum of human diversity among cripples too.
Mattel ought to be making an extensive line of crippled dolls. What about a blind Barbie? A deaf Barbie? A Barbie with hemophilia?
A dwarf Barbie? A Barbie with a trach in her throat? A Barbie with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who’s constantly washing her hands? An autistic Barbie? How about a Barbie that drools? I know the technology exists to make that doll. When I was a kid there was a doll that cried real tears. All you had to do to make tears was remove the hatch on the back of the baby’s skull and fill the chamber with water. The same principal can be applied here, except you fill the chamber with spit.
(Smart Ass Cripple is completely reader supported. Purchasing Smart Ass Cripple books at lulu.com, subscribing on Amazon Kindle and filling the tip jar keeps us going. Please help if you can.)
ANNOUNCING: Smart Ass Cripple's Little Chartreuse Book. A new Smart Ass Cripple book hot off the presses at lulu.com. It still has that new Smart Ass Cripple book smell. Get yours today! Help keep Smart Ass Cripple going!