Bionic Woman Doll | SherBarbie
By the time I reached the 2nd grade, I understood that for every male superhero archetype that existed the entertainment industry felt obligated to create a female counterpart.
For Batman there was a Batgirl.
For Shazam there was Isis.
Except Aqua Man. To my knowledge, there’s never been an Aqua Woman.
The Bionic Woman premiered in January 1976. She was immortalized the following years in the pages of the 1977 JC Penney’s Christmas Catalog.
This was not a doll I wanted. In fact, I didn’t like the Bionic Woman. I don’t know what it says about me as a kid, but she did not have the female characteristics I valued as an 8-year-old girl. I preferred prettier dolls like Malibu Barbie and Topper Dawn. I especially loved Ideal’s Tuesday Taylor with her ridiculously long hair and pale green off-the-shoulder jumpsuit. She had an awesome white bikini that doubled as bar and underwear, and a fabulous tan.
This all seems rather hollow and awful now, but in the spirit of bearing witness to the life and times of this Gen Xer, that’s the way things went with me.
So much has been written about the early (and ongoing) sexualization of girls by products that promote looking sexy. I don’t have anything new to add to that conversation except to validate that it was a problem then and it is a far bigger problem now. At least when Gen Xers were growing up we had Little House on the Prairie.
Did you have a Bionic Woman doll?