Sparkle Torture Barbie

Yes, as this Washington Post article reports, children routinely torture Barbie. The little boy in You Will Behave is not alone, though forced sodomy was not included in the list of crimes against plasticity. Just scalping, burning, and microwaving.

The University of Bath researchers who "uncovered" this vast worldwide torture ring offer a few possible motives, but I fear they miss the boat. Of course, if you want the real reason girls and boys torture Barbie, you'll have to read You Will Behave, but here's a few clues:

1. Perfection is aggressive and terrifying.

2. Beauty demands destruction.

3. When any child plays with a Barbie doll, whether they are young or old, boy or girl, the doll operates as a stand-in both for themselves and the unknowable other. The play is a navigation between these two extremes.
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