self love mental health

Just a Girl: Self-respect Barbie

In Healing by Ivory Magazine1 Comment

Just a Girl on mental health

My Barbie was a supermodel. No matter what I dressed her in, what accessories she wore, she always looked amazing. Because I had no doubt at all that she could rock any style / any colour / any combination – I believed in her. In my eyes, Barbie rocked. She set the bar and all of the other dolls followed (in dolls world anyway).

self care being barbie ivory magazine

She was my absolute best thing, in paper or dolly form. It didn’t matter. Where I went, she went. She was my wing woman.

And then I grew up and forgot about Barbie and the hours and hours that I spent lavishing time and affection on her. I had other things to think about.

Like guys and work and getting wasted. Especially getting wasted.

Which kind of went on for a lot longer than I’d bargained for. But that’s another story.

Anyway, I booked a hair appointment earlier and Barbie just popped into my head – out of the blue – as is kind of standard when a blog is forming and I’m about to learn yet another valuable lesson about myself.

So I made a coffee and I sat and I thought… and this is what I came up with.

Self-care / self-love and self respect. Or in my case, lack of.

Because if I was a kid and you’d given me a doll to play with that looked anything like me the way I was living a year ago, I’d have chucked it in the bin. And then gone and washed my hands. I wouldn’t have spent even five minutes attempting to make her look pretty. She’d have been carted off to the rubbish dump while me and super-cool Barbie hung out painting each others nails and brushing each others hair.

And that was my downfall. I’d stopped being my own Barbie, spending time on myself, wearing nice clothes, painting my nails.

If I had given myself a fraction of the attention and love that I showered on a plastic or paper doll I could have saved myself an awful lot of heartache and an awful lot of headfuck.

There is no way I would have lived the last couple of years looking like an anorexic bag-lady. Rocking out tangled hair, crumpled clothes and a major addiction to alcohol if I had any self-love or self respect. I would have put the brakes on pronto the minute I started to let myself go. If I had maintained one iota of self esteem while I was growing up then I wouldn’t be sat here writing this now. I’d be off, living my life to the full, looking and acting like the princess that I should have been all along.

Still. It’s not too late. There’s still time for me to learn from this. And I fully intend to.

I’m a nice girl. I have morals and ethics. I really shouldn’t be treating myself as an afterthought seven days a week. Shopping in charity shops when I could be treating myself to something new. That’s just for me. Not buying and wearing something second-hand all the time because I feel that thats all that I’m worth.

I’ve had a bumpy year. I’ve conquered a massive addiction. My co-dependancy is pretty much sorted. I’m happy and healthy and looking like a real girl again. And while I have absolutely no desire at all to look like a walking, talking version of my Barbie doll, I will be making changes.

So I’m starting by dusting off the pedestal I used to put Barbie on because today has been a revelation, and now that I’ve had this giant, much needed, wake-up call, I have a feeling that at some point in the not too distant future, I’m going to be needing it again. But this time it will be for myself – no dolly required.

Just A Girl is our mental health columnist. Follow her on Twitter

Photography by Errikos Andreou


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Ivory MagazineJust a Girl: Self-respect Barbie


  1. Jackie

    That is a great piece of writing that will resonate in many of us that need to pay more attention to our own well being.

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