Barbara Millicent Roberts (Barbie) sat down with the Mooseville Journal Record to discuss everything from Ken and dating to being a virgin and playing by the rules in this exclusive interview that dares to ask: Who is the real Barbie?
B: He’s gay.
That’s what everyone wants to know, isn’t it?
We’re off the record, right?
MJR: We can be.
B: There’s no such thing.
You’re a journalist; it’s in your nature.
This isn’t my first rodeo, you know?
MJR: Then why tell me?
B: I guess I’m tired of living the lie.
Ken was born gay.
That’s how they made him.
B: The studio.
Whatever you want to call them.
MJR: Was there a reason “they” made him gay?
B: Of course there was a reason.
I’m the All-American girl.
I have to be a virgin.
MJR: So you and Ken never…consummated the relationship?
B: Of course not!
We held hands and threw great parties.
He was the perfect accessory.
MJR: Was that all he was to you?
B: No, I care about Ken a lot.
I mean, he’s a little plastic, but he’s sweet.
We’re great friends and always will be.
I remember when they introduced us.
It was a bit awkward.
MJR: How so?
B: It was our first commercial together, 1961.
He wore a plaid shirt, skin-tight jeans, and was barefoot.
They were only using medium shots.
We shook hands.
It felt like I was gripping a wilted lily.
And then he curtsied.
B: Yeah, all seventeenth century-style
Like I was royalty or something.
Later I found out they told him to do that.
He didn’t have any lines so he didn’t talk much.
He was just there for eye candy, you know?
That and to see if we had chemistry.
MJR: Did you have chemistry?
B: They didn’t really care.
They told me a week later that he was my boyfriend.
It was never up to me.
MJR: What if it had been?
B: What? If it had been up to me?
Well, if that were the case, Ken would’ve come out years ago.
He’s had a lot of pressure and it’s taken a toll.
MJR: More pressure than you?
B: It’s different.
He’s had like a bazillion jobs and more “makeovers” than…
No, I’m not going to go there.
MJR: So, Ken’s a bit unstable?
B: I didn’t say that.
It’s not his fault; they never leave him alone.
They’re always picking like he’s a scab or something.
Like now, we’re on an official split.
We’re supposed to rekindle the relationship
Sometime before the holiday season, I think.
But the real reason is Ken’s going in for more alterations.
It’s all been arranged.
I think it’s supposed to happen in August.
MJR: Do you know what they’re trying to change?
B: Oh, they called in all the designers.
Everything was real hush-hush.
Mainly I think they’re changing his marketing.
MJR: So nothing too serious?
B: Well, he did have to have surgery.
They gave him tighter pecks and a more defined…
(Clears throat) Package.
MJR: That seems odd.
B: Niche marketing.
Ken can pull in a certain demographic.
They can’t exclude their core customer, but they’re not dumb.
MJR: So, Ken’s just a marketing pawn?
B: Skipper, Skooter, Tutti, Todd, Stacie, Francie, Jazzie
Midge, Allan, the Rockers, Sensations, hell, even Chocho-Chan
We were all pawns.
MJR: You’re speaking in the past tense. Does this mean you’re no longer a pawn?
B: Oh, I’m still a pawn
But, I’m not totally expendable.
I’m money in the bank.
MJR: You sound empowered.
B: Why shouldn’t I be?
I’m a virgin who’s also a whore.
What else can they do to me?
MJR: They could kill you?
B: They don’t want the negative press.
Besides, they’ve got a much bigger issue right now.
There’s a new romance brewing.
MJR: Really? Are you seeing someone new?
B: I wish.
You think they’d let that happen?
(Laughs) Give me a break.
MJR: I’m sorry. I misunderstood.
B: Ken is dating someone new.
I’m trying to give you a scoop here.
I thought you were quicker than that.
MJR: I thought we were off the record?
B: Fuck it.
I don’t really care.
I’m trying to do the right thing.
MJR: Then by all means, please continue. Ken is dating someone new? Who?
B: G.I. Joe.
I don’t know if that’s shocking to you.
It wasn’t for me.
MJR: I’ll admit I’m a bit stunned by the news. When did this happen?
B: We all met on the set of that Nissan commercial.
When was that, four years ago?
God, time flies.
Well, Joe and Ken had an instant bond.
It was one of those magnetic moments
But the cameras were rolling and we were on script.
In my opinion that was one of Ken’s best performances.
He channeled something raw and real that day
But then we wrapped and he’s never been able to get it back.
Anyway, they kept in touch for a while through email
But then Joe got shipped out and Ken and I went to therapy.
They didn’t see each other again until my birthday last year.
I had a get-together at my house in Malibu
Very low key, just a few friends.
I’m still recovering from 50!
Anyway, Joe happened to be in town that night.
He and Ken reconnected and have been inseparable ever since.
It’s kind of sickening.
MJR: How so?
B: They stare into each others' eyes.
Touch each others' faces.
Call each other “Boogs.”
B: Yeah, I don’t know what that’s about.
They say it in baby voices.
MJR: Why do you think it took four years to realize they had feelings for one another?
B: Ken’s always been trapped.
Plus, there’s that whole don’t ask don’t tell thing.
Joe wasn’t ready to give up his career.
MJR: Is he ready now?
B: Hopefully he won’t have to.
The military’s become more progressive.
It’s not like it was even five years ago.
MJR: Any hope of what happened with Ken and Joe happening with you?
B: What, realizing I’m gay? I don’t think so.
I mean, I experimented in the 60s and 70s
But I like men too much.
MJR: No, I meant any chance of finding love.
Yeah, I don’t know.
I’ve been on a few dates.
MJR: No one’s caught your eye?
B: Plenty catch my eye: Buzz, Logan, Han Solo
Two of the guys from NKOTB, but they’re too young.
Even Allan, we considered dating at one point.
MJR: You and Allan Sherwood had a fling?
B: We had dinner twice.
If that’s what you consider a fling
Then that’s what we had.
MJR: No, I guess that doesn’t sound like a fling. So what happened with Allan?
B: The same thing that happens with every guy.
Some take longer than others
But eventually they all accept the truth.
MJR: And what's the truth?
B: We can never have sex. It’s impossible.
I’ve got a great rack, but there’s nothing going on down below.
Catch my drift?
MJR: I guess I hadn’t thought of it like that.
B: Yeah, well, I’m not complaining.
A lot of people have it much worse.
At least I get to be on TV.
MJR: Doesn’t sound like a fair trade.
B: (Laughs) Thanks for the reassurance.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse
BAM! It does.
MJR: I didn’t mean it like that.
B: No, I know. Look, I’ve got a glamorous life.
I get to travel and I’ve got a killer wardrobe.
My body’s not perfect, but I’m okay with that.
MJR: What would you say to a guy right now if he asked you out?
B: I’d say: I’m smart, sophisticated, and rich.
I've got incredible lips and strong hands.
If you need more than that, then I don’t need ya.
MJR: Wow! Anything else?
B: I think that pretty much says it all.
Hey, I don’t want to sound like a bitch or anything but...
Are we done yet cause I got another thing?