by Milana Vuković Runjić


This summer, Barbie is back in fashion. Girls have hopped onto their three-inch heels, buckled thin belts around their waists, and put their breasts inside something resembling a handkerchief. Long blond hairs are swaying in the wind, or blue-black ones, which give their owner a Barbie-with-a-wig look. It was my best friend’s birthday so we got as ready as a battleship: tight, figure-hugging, cleavaged. But if women in their thirties look cool in Sex and the City they definitely are not cool in old Zagreb city. Here you have to start thinking about the beauty within, charm and similar catchphrases. Old age is a long drink, you start on it in your thirties and keep at it for the next fifty years. You are not the only one getting old; so do your views, your books and your friends. Even if you have a young face at some point you become as old as the Bible, and you know it. You feel like experimenting with a night out? Fine, but on Saturday nights the city gets taken by dressed-up Barbies who spend the winter in the gym and the spring on a sun bed. Those Barbies are not afraid of large jewellery, bare backs, white nails, and golden clogs. They didn’t grow up on rock but as soon as they hear a lambada they raise their little hands, or music even worse than lambada, some homegrown turbo-folk music that makes my blood pressure go up. They are not those glamorous babes who used to hang out in Talija (a theater bar) who pretended to be actresses. No, Barbies are successful businesswomen who in their open-top flash cars drive around some brochures, some sample dresses, who import things for who knows whom and who knows where. They are owners of companies, or at least know owners of companies, which is almost the same. While my friend and I drove to our restaurant, several Barbies swiftly overtook us at the light. They drive with one hand, and in the other they flash their mobiles. They’re simply uncatchable.

First published on March 16, 2001 in the Croatian newsweekly Globus.
Translated by Vanja Dragomanović.

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Milana Vuković Runjić writes a sex column for the Croatian newsweekly Globus.

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