Career Development

Whatever Happened To Barbie?

I don’t know what I want, so don’t ask me
cause I’m still trying to figure it out.
Don’t know what’s down this road, I’m just walking
trying to see through the rain coming down
even though I’m not the only one
who feels the way I do…

                – Taylor Swift, “A Place In This World”

One of the perfect songs for where I am in life. Everytime I hear it, I hear a resounding YES! reverberate in my mind. And then I think that it would be a lot easier to walk down this road if I had some really cute shoes. That fit. That fit my tiny little feet.

Ok, so I’m going to break from my usual quarterlife crisis routine and explain my current problem: I can’t find shoes. I started working out at the gym (it’s great, love the classes, the weights are kicking my ass, but I have tons of energy, etc, etc, etc…). My dilemma is that I have only one good pair of sneakers that Riley has yet to chew, and those are ready to fall apart any day now. This means that I’m in for some shopping, which should, by all accounts, get me excited. New stuff! Cute things! Alas, I’m short and my feet are (un?)fortunately proportionate to my body, which means that buying shoes are more of a chore than a pleasure-inducing activity.

I went out this weekend intent on finding a pair of sneakers. My standards aren’t high — I want a pair of sneakers that are (a) relatively inexpensive, that (b) fit comfortably, and that are (c) age-appropriate. Luckily, shopping around me is heaven, as I live near the Lancaster outlets (if you’re from the area, you know this is a huge deal, as most of the stores are popular chains that have all the merchandise on discount).

Now, most of these stores are in my price range and are having great summer sales (buy one, get one half off!) Unfortunately, I can’t find even one pair that meet criteria b and c. I found one cute pair that was a bit too small, but, being an outlet store, what they have is all they have in stock. Onto the next.

I always head directly to the kids section, knowing by now that to even glance at the women’s shoes would mean heartbreak and disappointment (accompanied by some cursing at the shoe industry and my own genes). But I’m always disappointed here, too… Occasionaly I’ll find a gem (I found a pair of brown sandals for $20 — small feet does equal less expensive, I’ll give it that), but you have to be really lucky to find a pair of sneakers or sandals that doesn’t have a) ruffles b) glitter or c) a Disney character on them.

Exhibit A:

Hannah Montana sneakers from

 Oh yes, those are sneakers that have not only pink satin, but the shape of the guitar along the sides. Now, I’m not discriminatory when it comes to my shoes (really, I’ve had to learn not to be); yes, there’s a picture of Hannah Montana on the inside of the shoe, but that’s usually covered up by stinky feet anyway. That I can deal with. What my dignified self can’t muster up the courage for is the guitar on the soles…

Hannah Montana guitar sole

Imagine that muddy imprint.

Exhibit B:

Hannah Montana Sandals from

These caught my attention for a nanosecond when I was in the store — I have an affinity for brown and blue together and the style seemed somewhat bohemian hip(ish) until I realized it was a GUITAR.

 And, oh yes, lest you wonder, that guitar means it’s the Hannah Montana brand.

Trust me, these are the best of the bunch. I was perusing the rest of the shoes at (the only retailer who actually has shoes that fit standards a, b, and c, when something shiny caught my eye. Hey! They light up! Just what every 24 year old under five feet wants to wear to work. Just stick a guitar on them and we’d be golden!

 Now, I’m not adverse to branding — I wore a pair of Barbie brand glasses for awhile because they were the only frames that fit my face and the Barbie logo was miniscule. Which begs the question: does anyone even remember Barbie?


Barbie sneakers from



Well, at least they’re on sale.


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