Sawgrass mills barbie dream house

The Sawgrass Mills Mall is the second-biggest tourist attraction in Florida after Walt Disney World. Built in the form of an alligator, the Everglades-themed outlet shopping just happens to be home to the dizzying and terrifying life-size Barbie doll...

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Photo courtesy Marc Serota/Mattel

The Sawgrass Mills Mall is the second best tourist attractivity in Florida after Walt Disney World. Built in the shape of an alligator, the Everglades-themed outlet shopping center caters to South Amerideserve to tourists who’ve flown to South Florida to purchase discounted, damaged Louis Vuitton suitsituations they’ll fill with cheap assets purchased at T.J. Maxx and also Banana Republic.

To locals, this area is obviously hell. But given that this is Florida—wright here there is nothing to execute except smoke crack at your residence and smoke pills at motels constructed for tourists—community children almost live at Sawgrass. When I was a tween, it was where I watched my friends rotate into Juicy Couture sluts and also wbelow I groped a boy’s dick for the initially time. (He later on broke my heart at f.y.e.) It was my second house, and a broken one at that. So I was surprised as soon as I learned through the Daily Mail that “The Barbie Dream Housage Experience” was opening at Sawgrass.

The Mail explained the life-sized replica of Barbie’s Dream House as a “10,000 foot pink paradise.” But to my friends in Florida, the Dream Housage sounded favor one more cruel reminder of what it’s like to prosper up in another person’s paradise.

“That’s Barbie’s Dream House?” said my friend Alex, who still resides in Florida. “Yeah, F. Scott Fitzgerald was totally reasoning around a fake house in the middle of an outlet mall built in the shape of an alligator once he composed The Great Gatsby. This is the fucking Amerihave the right to dream.”

But I wanted to find somepoint excellent in Barbie’s Dream House. I discover it difficult to believe humanity can develop something that has no redeeming features at all, even a mall that plays fabricated bird sounds on loop.

Last week, when I remained in Fort Lauderdale visiting my mom, I returned to the Sawgrass Mall to experience the Dream Housage myself.


I planned to go alone, however my friend Melanie, who additionally still lives in Florida, insisted she sign up with me. “Barbie’s Dream Housage sounds scarier than a chemical drug pilgrimage in Amsterdam,” she sassist. “You can’t go alone.” So I referred to as up Barbie’s publicist and also asked for two press tickets. He’d only provide us tickets if we agreed to take no photos or videos, and also told me a marketer called Yarni would certainly meet us at the entrance.

Two hours later on, Melanie and I gotten in via a pink gift shop, where a salesgirl offered dolls and also dollhomes. Mesmerized by the pink overhead lights and the fake chandelier hanging above us, we forgained about Yarni. I felt favor an Oliby means of Newton John song. I felt choose fucking magic.

Yarni and a girl in a teal shirt stepped with the pink haze I was trapped in. “I’m Leila,” the girl shelp. “I’ll be your tour guide.”

Yarni reminded us that Barbie banned all guests—consisting of non-media members—from taking photos, and also then let Leila lead us right into a tiny pink room lit by pink and blue lights. On the wall, a picture of Barbie began to relocate. Barbie defined that she was out of tvery own and had “shed her glitter” (Florida stripper soptimal for “I shed my cocaine”) and also essential our assist “finding her glitter.”


Picture courtesy Marc Serota/Mattel

“This is just prefer the Haunted Mansion,” Melanie said.

“Um, no it’s not,” Leila corrected her. “The Haunted Mansion isn’t pink.”

Melanie shot me a frightened look—the wall slid open up revealing a giant pink room. “The kitchen!” Leila shouted.


She sped right into the giant pink room and told us to make cupcakes. Tbelow was no food in sight. I opened up the kitchen drawers and also uncovered spoons and forks hidden in see-through plastic boxes. I tried to take off the lid, however they were sealed tight. Leila showed me a display screen on the kitchen counter—by making cupcakes, she expected tapping touchdisplay screens to produce digital baked products.

Then she lugged Melanie and me right into a giant freezer. Inside, we found a few cupcakes hidden behind glass, a huge sleigh developed for “photo-ops,” over 15 dolls, and a flat-screen TV playing Barbie webisodes. Inside this, the Barbie dream fridge, there were no vegetables, meat, or old take-out. There was no food at all. I’m not sure what this was expected to tell little bit girls, but to me it looked like Leila required to phase an treatment for Barbie’s evident eating disorder.

But Leila had no time to take part in investigative journalism—she was sent on a mission by a publicist and essential to display us the living room, wbelow she pointed at shelves complete of Barbie dolls and also untitled pink books.

“This is the Versace doll,” Leila sassist.

“Do the books have titles?” I asked.

“No,” Leila shelp, laughing. “They’re just Barbie books.” She then confirmed us Barbie’s white couch and family portraits, which, prefer the player in the freezer, were flat displays playing Barbie webisodes about her siblings and also pet dolphins. Leila said girls love the webisodes.

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“They currently know wright here Barbie’s glitter is when they come right here, bereason they’re watched eextremely webisode,” she sassist. “The webisodes are really good. I started watching them at work and watch them at residence, because I had actually to watch just how they end!”

In the next rooms, Barbie’s balcony and bedroom, Leila confirmed us more of what appeared to be an endless parade of pink. The balcony’s towel cabinet was full of dolls, and also tbelow were a dozen dolls showcased on the bedroom wall. Barbie’s bed was a solid block somebody had actually painted pink.

“Are there any kind of pillows?” I asked as the 3 of us lay on the bed.

“They’re right tbelow,” Leila said, pointing at pillows painted on.

“Oh my God!” Melanie shouted. “I had actually those bedsheets as a kid. Those are the bedsheets that were in my Dream Housage.”

“Right?” Leila said. “Wbelow was this once we were kids?”

“What execute you typically perform with the youngsters you provide tours in this room?” I asked.


Photograph courtesy Marc Serota/Mattel

“We play ‘Barbie, Ken, Sparkle,’” she shelp. She explained this was a game wbelow youngsters flex their muscles when she says, “Ken,” strike any kind of pose they favor when she claims, “Barbie,” and make soul fingers once she claims “Sparkle.” I struggled not to laugh; Melanie smiled and also asked Leila exactly how she can use to occupational at Barbie’s Dream House. She then followed Leila to the Glitterizer, a substantial life-size doll box.

“What’s this for?” I asked as I stepped inside the Gitterizer.


“Barbie steps in eexceptionally morning to glitterize,” replied Leila. Oh. I opened package and walked in with Melanie, expecting glitter to cover me but nopoint taken place.

“Where’s the glitter?” I asked.

“It’s a photo-op for the children that visit,” Leila defined. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I had been lied to—travellers could take photos. Barbie’s publicist had actually simply fooled me right into not taking photos.

But Melanie didn’t alert this, or didn’t care. She followed Leila into Barbie’s bathroom, where Barbie’s pet dolphin Flippy stuck his head out of the toilet, and then her clocollection. I supposed the closet to be a life-dimension replica of Mariah Carey’s closet as checked out on Cribs, however with the exemption of ballerina clothes that could just fit on a toddler (and also are more than likely for sale at Toys R Us), the clocollection only had actually dolls and accessories. Barbie’s interior decorator had mounted mirrors on the end of the two wall surfaces that comprised the room to make the clocollection look never-ending—an allegory, I believed, for just how all this pink glamour was a corporate mirage.

Yet Melanie still bought right into the shtick. She stood with Leila in front of a mirror playing an interactive game that fits imaginary garments on your body, smiling as if their dream, not Mattel’s, had come true. I adhered to the girls into Barbie’s aircraft, a white room that smelled like a decade-old fart and had actually yet one more flat display screen and two fake plane windows painted on the wall.


On the display screen, Barbie told us we were going to her entertainment island also, a private residential or commercial property in the shape of a heart where Barbie takes treatment of her jobs. I assumed this would mean the roughly 1,000 tasks Barbie had actually derived after over 50 years of leaning in. The white wall opened up onto a screen of Barbie’s greatest success, including coming to be a rock star (in 1986) and President of the USA (2000).

“What do the girls do here?” I asked Leila.

“This is where they learn to model!” She led us across the pink room to a black curtain, which she parted, revealing a team of six-year-old girls finding out just how to catwalk down a white phase. “The girls obtain to pick their own makeup,” she shelp, gesturing at an additional employee placing children’s makeup on her face in the mirror scheduled for elementary school girls. Children’s makeup. This was even more terrifying than the Haunted Mansion could ever hope to be.  Leila turned amethod from the curtain and also walked throughout the room to lead us to the leave through the gift shop.

I want to say that Barbie’s Dream House was a feminist incentive, that behind the pink tright here was a core of inner beauty, yet it was really simply an interenergetic advertisement for internet videos and souvenirs, prefer an EDM fest for tween girls. It wasn’t also pop culture. It was just pop—a plastic pink promotion for a plastic doll that told girls they had actually to be plastic too.

Walking earlier to my mom’s BMW, Melanie wondered aloud why she had actually asked for a job application. “I would never work-related tright here,” she shelp. “What was I thinking? Those pink and blue lights were so dreamy. You know, they were just choose pink strip club lights.”