“If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”

George S. Patton, General U. S. Army

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

Mark Twain

"The ancestor of every action is thought."


"All that we are is the result of what we have thought."


"When you are not told what to do you begin to think what to do."

Roger Cohen, Op-Ed Columnist New York Times

"No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking."


"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think."

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

"You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think."

Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course

"Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?"

Winnie the Pooh

"Time to think matters ─ at least if we’re interested in getting the answers right."

Stephen L. Carter

"Thinking is always out of order, interrupts all ordinary activities and is interrupted by them."

Hannah Arendt, Life of the Mind

"Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

John F. Kennedy

"The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds."

Will Durant

"Thinking is like living and dying. Each of us must do it for himself."

Josiah Royce

"Some people get lost in thought because it's such unfamiliar territory."

G. Behn

"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking."

Albert Einstein

"Pursuing our thoughts in silent contemplation takes an investment in time that few can spare."

Stephen L. Carter

"A moment’s thinking is an hour in words."

Thomas Hood

"Sometimes I think and other times I am."

Paul, Variete: Cantiques spirituels 192

"To think is to differ."


"To think is to live."


"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

William Jones

"What we think, we become."


"Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking."


"The person who thinks before he speaks is silent most of the time."


"Think ─ and you will be very lonely."


"Thought is action in rehearsal."


"We live in a world that leaves very little time to contemplate."


"Don’t worry too much about what people think because they seldom do."


"Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest."


"One cannot think crooked and walk straight."


"Think Differently + Do Things Differently = Better Results"


February 08, 2016

Getting Over Barbie

Tags: Business, General, Design,

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in! I’m referring here to Barbie dolls, not The Godfather family. For me, Barbie is the wound that never heals. My sisters and I weren’t allowed to have her when we were growing up because our mother thought she was...well...too voluptuous for young girls. Now comes word that Mattel is coming out with a new line of Fashionista Collection Barbie’s – 33 dolls in all! – and my mother is no longer here to guide my moral choices. What to do...?

I’m always struck by how passionate and opinionated people are when the subject is Barbie. The “Original” doll is probably the most politically incorrect toy ever designed. (That’s the one I coveted because we didn’t know what politically incorrect was back then).

We just knew a stunner when we saw one and we wanted to be and look just like Barbie. To us (the future generation of feminists), Barbie was what I would call an “aspirational” role model.

Ken aside, this was a woman who had it all.

The tip-toes that never rested. The waist that never expanded. The bust that never ceased to amaze.

She was athletic (aerobics instructor, football coach, cheerleader, scuba diver, Olympic gymnast).

She served in three branches of the armed forces.

When Barbie wasn’t fighting fires and arresting criminals (even as a Canadian Mountie), she was circling the globe as an Ambassador of World Peace, running for President (and winning)...while simultaneously serving as Chancellor of Germany. (Hillary may want to consider lifting Barbie’s campaign slogan: Go Vote! Go Run! Go Lead! Go Girl!)

On a slow day, Barbie was styling pets, working the cash register at the candy counter, and driving in the NASCAR circuit.

Need I remind you that she looked absolutely fabulous while doing all of the above?

But while my peers were busy outfitting their Barbie’s in strapless bathing suits, elegant cocktail dresses, designer suits and body-hugging active wear, I was relegated to buttoning another baggy blouse on my life-size Patti Playpal doll.


And now my dream doll is back with a vengeance.

According to Mattel, the 21st century Barbie will come in three new body types (tall, curvy and petite), seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles! (Is this a retailers’ inventory nightmare, or what?).

The Collection will be officially introduced February 13 at the New York Toy Fair and rolled out to retailers starting in the spring. (If you’re desperate, you can buy one now at shop.Mattel.com).

"We have to let girls know it doesn't matter what shape you come in, that anything is possible," said Tania Missad, director of consumer insights for the doll line.

But make no mistake, the dramatic changes to the doll have as much to do with the bottom line as they do with evolving sensibilities. Worldwide Barbie sales fell 4% in the third quarter of 2015. And the company's stock price was down nearly 43% from its 2013 peak. Lego has toppled Barbie from her stiletto perch to become the current most popular toy brand.

And speaking of stilettoes...

Perhaps the most shocking feature of the new Barbie dolls will be their flat feet. The better to fit into their (comfortable, unflattering) flat shoes.

This gives me pause. (Maybe I am over Barbie...).

Flat shoes and a plus-size wardrobe?

They might as well change her name to Patti Playpal.

Anita Alvare (bio)/Alvare Associates/610-520-6140

Fashionista Collection Barbie’s   Barbie Dolls  Ken Dolls  Patti Playpal

Since establishing Alvaré in 1981, Anita has guided the agency through more than 30 years of steady growth and success. A marketing communications entrepreneur who has done it all, she remains deeply involved in strategic planning and creative direction, bringing extensive knowledge and insight to each client project.


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Comments (9)

Joyce Williams

I wasn’t allowed to have a Barbie.  Too racy for my mom.  She gave me a nun doll instead—which I was not permitted to undress under any circumstances.  Unless I wanted to go straight to hell, or course.

My girls will never forget the day Nanny came for a visit and found my daughter’s Barbie lying on the coffee table buck naked. Oh, the utter panic that ensued! Barbie was quickly covered with a paper towel and we all were lectured on modesty!

Joan Holloway

I loved my Patti Playpal!

Steph Walsh beilman

I never had a Barbie or a Patti Playpal (I am too old, I guess). Minna and I had Ginny dolls. I had the blond, Minna the brunette. They looked like us! No frills, just the dolls and some clothes that were for 10 and under girls.
Too bad they don’t make Ginny dolls anymore.

Joan Emmi

Loved it

Tom Miller

Awesome, Anita. Thanks for the insight into the Barbie phenom. Flat shoes and a plus-sized laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing.  Cheers.  Tom

mimi hollway

I was in the age of Poor Pitiful Pearl and the Ginette baby dolls.

Never got to be part of the Barbie crowd. I was too old by then !!!!
Loved the commentary Anita.  Thanks for the remembrances .

Ellen Cannataro

Great article ! I was a lucky little girl , I had both a Barbie and a Patti Playpal.

Karen Thomson

Thanks for the laugh!  I was a Barbie die hard.  “Mommy, can I get another outfit for my Barbie doll?  NO!  I have two Barbie dolls I need to dress and there is nothing left in the budget for your Barbie doll’s wardrobe!!!”

Michelle Alvare

Love your Barbie blog - I am laughing out loud as I can so relate to your reference to my Patty Play Pal doll! I was allowed to play with Barbie, Ken & Skipper, & I loved collecting all of the “outfits” (& I still have all of them - hoping to pass themonto th daughter I never had &now; hoping for a granddaughter someday - LOL!)