Image Credit: Betches

It’s Not Just A Barbie World

MODERATOR: Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Betches roundtable “Boulevard of Broken Dream House.” We’re here today to have a long-awaited conversation about the historical importance of dolls in society and the resurgence of dolls in Hollywood, especially with the relentless PR tour Barbie is on.  Joining me are some of the greatest leaders in the doll industry: Chelsea from My Scene, Chucky from Child’s Play, Cabbage Patch Baby Abby, Cloe from Bratz Dolls, Raggedy Ann, Rose and Violet from Sky Dancers, That One Random Troll from your Troll Doll collection, Isabel Hoffman from American Girl Dolls, and Polly Pocket. We invited Cynthia from Rugrats (she’s a really cool dancer), but she’s currently filming a biopic directed by Sofia Coppola. Before we get going, does anyone have anything they’d like to share? 

CHUCKY: I’m going to kill you all!!

MODERATOR: Okay, great. Very on brand. Let’s get started! As dolls, you have the power to spark imagination and creativity in children. Can you share a memorable story of how you inspired a child to embark on a fantastical adventure or explore their own dreams?

Image Credit: Betches

SKY DANCERS: [Rose and Violet speak in unison] We loved teaching little ones how fanciful, magical, and easy it is for their dreams to take flight!

TROLL: Didn’t you guys get recalled because you caused so many injuries? 

[Rose and Violet pull each other’s magic strings and fly-dance away from the table per their lawyer.]

MODERATOR: Magical! Would anyone else like to share how they’ve inspired children? 

CABBAGE PATCH BABY ABBY:  [Shits her onesie.]

MODERATOR: A fitting response. Cloe, how about you? 

BRATZ DOLL CLOE:  Please call me “Angel” — because that’s what I am. More than anything, Jade, Sasha, Yasmin and I encouraged girlies to be cool. There is nothing more important in this world than being cool, wearing dope clothes, having big lips, and spelling words with the letter Z. Do you know if Ken is coming to this? He’s so hot. 

TROLL: Weren’t you guys constantly criticized for playing a huge role in the oversexualization of minors?  

BRATZ DOLL CLOE: Sorry, too cool to respond to trolls. 


MODERATOR: This is going well! Let’s move on. With the release of the Barbie movie, how do you feel about being overshadowed by Barbie’s glamorous Hollywood spotlight? Is there any envy or are you proud of her success?

RAGGEDY ANN: I’m happy for her, but enough with the “blonde-hair-perfect-body” representation. Where’s the representation for the “yarn-hair-soft-body” darlings?!

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL ISABEL: Yeah, not all of us can have perfectly arched, uncalloused feet. Flat feet are cute, too. CANKLE RIGHTS!!! 

Image Credit: Betches

POLLY POCKET: I agree — good for her. It’s not her fault she’s so iconic and beloved, but what about the smaller stars? The little luminaries? The itty-bitty idols? 

TROLL: Okay, you may be miniscule, but you really take up a lot of space. Look how much shit you brought to the table — like, why is your dog here? Why do you have 15 pairs of pants with you? Why is your entire house parked under the table?? 

MY SCENE CHELSEA: Everyone’s always called me a “knockoff Barbie,” and you know what? It’d be great if they could knock that off because Barbie and I are best friends. No, she hasn’t called me in years. Nor did she invite me to her premiere, but that’s not my scene anyway. 

TROLL: I mean, we all know how Barbie had a deeply negative effect on kids and their body image! But me? I did the opposite. Kids who played with me embraced their awkward arms and stocky legs and huge feet and absolutely bonkers heads. I know they’ve made movies about us, but we deserve to be treasured more for being strange, quirky gems in the doll world. 

CABBAGE PATCH BABY ABBY: [Cries for no reason.]

CHUCKY: I’m not envious of anyone, but I do keep hearing everyone say Barbie “slayed.” I love to slay. If anyone can slay, it’s me.

Image Credit: Betches

MODERATOR: Moving on! In the Barbie movie, she leaves her world to come to the real world. What have you guys learned, briefly leaving your worlds, to come spend time here in the “real world” of New York City? Would you consider staying?

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL ISABEL: As an official historical representative of the late 1990s, all I learned by coming here is that The Backstreet Boys broke up, my Tamagotchi died of hunger, and America is a late-stage capitalist hellscape. I did visit the American Girl Doll Store, however — kind of tacky, and their hospital doesn’t even take my insurance. 

POLLY POCKET: I actually looked at apartments in Manhattan this morning, and who has the pockets to spend $4500 for a glorified closet when you can live in a tiny, heart-shaped furnished home for free?

CHUCKY: I really loved Times Square. 

BRATZ DOLL CLOE: That tracks. I went to Marquee last night and it was the bomb. Didn’t even care that someone stepped on me.  


RAGGEDY ANN: I was holding an almost-empty Starbucks cup waiting to cross the street and someone put $3 in there…

MODERATOR:  Sounds like the real world has been a real challenge. Okay, isn’t it amazing how Barbie clothes have been sartorial staples in the doll world for decades? In some way or another, you all have your own very notable fashion sense. What do you think of each other’s style? 

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL ISABEL: If the troll doll could put some pants on, that’d be great. 

[All the dolls nod in agreement.]

TROLL: You love to see my family jewels! Also, you’re one to talk about fashion, Isabel. You went to Paris for one week three years ago, take the beret off. 

Image Credit: Betches

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL ISABEL: [makes an “L” with her pointer finger and thumb] LOSER, LOSER, DOUBLE LOSER, WHATEVER, AS IF, GET THE PICT — 

TROLL: Can someone please tell Emily in Paris to shut the fuck up? 

BRATZ DOLL CLOE:  Can we get back to fashion? Cabbage Patch Abby could really afford to spice things up. I don’t care if she’s a newborn baby, put on a crop top and some wide-leg denim diapers. 

MY SCENE CHELSEA: I would just die to give Raggedy Ann a makeover — in a loving, tender, movie-montage way, not an I’m-a-doll-for-children-but-my-makeup-screams-please-let-Ken-pound-me-all-night kind of way. 

RAGGEDY ANN: I would normally say, “No, thank you” to that because my smock-chic style is timeless and classic, but after that person on 14th Street thought I was a down-on-her-luck bum, I’ll entertain it. I’ve heard “coastal grandma” is a good look? 


CHUCKY: All of your outfits need more blood.


[Chucky takes out a pair of scissors. Just as he does, the Sky Dancers fly back in — but they miss their landing spot and their sharp, plastic wings cut Chucky in the face.]

SKY DANCERS: [Rose and Violet speak in unison like nothing has happened.] We soar and twirl! Enter our magical fairy world!!! 

[Chucky is “bleeding” on the ground. The other dolls do not care.]

MODERATOR: Wow, more like Rose and Violent, am I right? Well, we’ll end this fascinating discussion with something fun: If you could say one thing to Barbie right now, what would it be? 

MY SCENE CHELSEA: Barbie, I miss you. Remember when we used to share our hopes and dreams with each other? And kiss intimately? Oh, wait, I mean —

[Rose and Violet twirl away again per their lawyer. Their wings intertwine upon liftoff and they tumble to the ground. They’re not very good at this.]

BRATZ DOLL CLOE: Way to put the “doll” in dollars, babe. Love ya! Can you have Ken call me? 

Image Credit: Betches

AMERICAN GIRL DOLL ISABEL: Happy for you, Barbie, but let people see the real you. Ditch the veneers, you coward.

POLLY POCKET: I would tell Barbie about affordable housing and question her use of such a big mansion when there is clearly a housing crisis going on.

TROLL: Barbie, remember when you once made a wish on my gemstone to have a real butt that works? Sorry to expose you, but that’s just how I troll.

CHUCKY: [Lifts his head off the ground from his injury.] This is child’s play. Call me when Barbie slays for real. 

CABBAGE PATCH BABY ABBY: [Falls out of chair.]

Betches reached out to Barbara’s team for comment but did not hear back by time of publication. 

Photography: Laura Valencia 

Hair and Makeup: Steph Perlman 

Talent Bookings: Anna Zagzag

Photo Design: Nicole Maggio

Senior Editorial Director: Katie Corvino 

Senior Communications Director: Michelle Ciciyasvili

Chief Content Officer: Kate Ward

Sara K. Runnels
Sara K. Runnels
Sara K. Runnels is a copywriter and humor writer living in Seattle, Washington. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Tinder messages, Gmail inboxes, group texts, Instagram captions, one Yelp review, several spec scripts her mom thinks are GREAT and hundreds of Twitter screenshots. Follow her all over the internet – @omgskr.