By Angela Abbamonte
I am sure everyone breathed a sigh of relief when they heard the good news. After taking a break in 2004, America’s cutest couple is back together. Seven years have passed since the split, but now we can rest easy knowing all is right with the world.
It was not easy for him to win his doll back.
Plenty of elaborately romantic gestures went into the swooning phase, including personalized cupcakes and candy bars, advertisements in magazines begging her to take him back and billboards across the country.
Luckily, it was a dating website that matched them up and made it clear they were made for each other — literally. Now it is Facebook official. The tweets have proclaimed it and they even have their own website, www.barbieandken.com.
Yes, this dramatic saga is about two plastic dolls.
I have to admit I did not even know Barbie and Ken had broken up, but after a few years of separation, Mattel, the toy manufacturing company that produces the happy couple, used Internet voting to promote Barbie’s male counterpart and see if they would get back together.
Mattel ran the campaign to get the two lovebirds together in conjuction with their reality television show which searched for America’s real-life Ken, “Genuine Ken — The Search for the Great American Boyfriend.”
When did relationships become a game, something millions of viewers can weigh in on? Barbie and Ken are just plastic and have been together in the minds of little girls for decades, but getting the nation’s opinion on personal relationships is nothing new.
It amazes me to see how commercialized and popularized love and romance have become.
Shows such as “The Bachelor” have one man dating as many as 25 women throughout the span of the show in hopes of finding “the one,” all while America watches. Fans post on websites who they think should win, often getting angry with the man if he picks someone else.
Lasting relationships take time. Votes from America or dates where one man is trying to get to know six women at once while being followed by a film crew do not produce long-lasting relationships.
I cannot help but think this commercialization of personal relationships has worked to cheapen something so important. Game shows and contests have taken the power of communication out of the equation, and when the resulting relationships do not work out the parties seem to move on, not giving much of a thought to the lost connection.
Voting for Barbie and Ken’s happily ever after was a simple marketing ploy to spark the interest in the dolls once again, but we as a society need to watch out for when real lives and seemingly real relationships are put on display for the world to judge, view and dictate.