Barbie Dream House at Sawgrass Mills Mall: "Scariest Place on Earth"?
Laura Lewis (LauraLewis23) via Flickr / Creative Commons
What's the most terrifying place you can think of? A foxhole in Afghanistan? Marilyn Manson's rec room? This guy's bed? (Actually, he looks kind of fun.)
This week, Vice magazine deemed the Barbie Dream House at Sawgrass Mall "the scariest place on Earth."
Apparently, before he hightailed it to New York City, writer Mitchell Sunderland grew up near the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and spent his salad days cruising Sawgrass, which he astutely observes is shaped like an alligator and "caters to South American tourists who've flown to South Florida to purchase discounted, damaged Louis Vuitton suitcases they'll fill with cheap products purchased at T.J. Maxx and Banana Republic."
On a visit down here to see his mom, he scored a behind-the-scenes tour of the Barbie Dream House, which opened in May and is expected to be open through at least August 2014.
He described a pink hellhole that was not unlike a strip club, where there is no food, books have no titles, and Barbie "loses her glitter." (Stripper code for cocaine?) It's a weirdly-lit vortex where looking at touch screens is the main thing to do, and modeling clothes is the only aspiration.
Ultimately, he concludes that the place "was just pop--a plastic pink promotion for a plastic doll that told girls they had to be plastic too."
Read the whole nightmare here.
If you think that's just a mean ol' hipster talking, the moms writing Yelp reviews weren't much kinder. One wrote, "It was horribly overpriced for what the offered. It is simply a musuem. Nothing to touch or feel- just cheap shoes and walmart brand Barbie dolls covered up behind plexiglass boxes." [sic]
Yet if you simply must experience it -- "virtual elevator" and all -- in person, on weekdays it costs $17.97 for adults, $15.85 for kids 3-18. It's $2 more on weekends. A $29.95 "VIP Megastar Ticket" includes "includes model-training, make-up, the opportunity to select an outfit and strut down the Barbie™ Runway." And yes -- there's a gift shop.
But the Barbie Dream House in Berlin sounds way more exciting. Feminists (including some from Occupy Barbie Dreamhouse) protested when it opened (also in May). According to Der Spiegel, one activist "climbed onto the gigantic shoe dressed only in a mini-skirt. She was carrying a burning cross on which a Barbie doll had been crucified" and screamed, "Being Barbie is not a career!" A scuffle with a security guard ensued, "a stroller tipped over, and an elderly woman fell to the ground" and had to go to the hospital.
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