Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bohemian Barbie Jumps for Joy

 Funky Feather Bunch Barrette

Dress: Xhilaration, Target
Shoes: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Gifted
Scarf: The Tote Trove, repurposed from We Love Colors
Belt: Wet Seal
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Sweater: Arizona Jean Company, J. C. Penney's
Jeans: Mudd, Kohl's
Shoes: Madden Girl, Macy's
Bag: Apt. 9, Kohl's
Jacket: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Top: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Skirt: Lily Rose, Kohl's
Shoes: City Streets, J. C. Penney's
Bag: Marshalls
Coat: Worthington, J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: Rampage, Boscov's

 Sweet Treats Necklace

Sweater: Arizona Jean Company
Jeans: Mudd, Kohl's
Shoes: Qupid, DSW
Bag: Bisou Bisou, J. C. Penney's
Sunglasses: J. C. Penney's

Bohemian Barbie is what I should call about seventy-five percent of my posts.  Aztec and animal prints, feathers, denim, and sun-ripened rainbows strung together by bright beads conspire to look like they tumbled out of the nearest caravan (and I don't mean the one made by Chevy).  Yet despite her plethora of personas, I can't say that I recall Barbie ever embodying this fashion flavor.  Maybe it's not glam enough, or maybe it's too political a style statement.  All I know is, if I were a kid I'd be delighted, right down to the inflatable cactus and tinsel-bright tumbleweed accessories that would accompany the fringed-caftan-draped blonde one camped out in the pink cardboard box.  I have faith in her and think she can rough it (see below, where she takes on the wilderness, albeit red carpet-ready).  Because we girls can do anything, right Barbie?

I like to think that Joy Mangano, the inspiration for David O. Russell's Joy starring Jennifer Lawrence, would agree.  In the beginning of the movie, we see young Joy crafting a white paper fantasy world, talking about her dream of one day making wonderful things for everyone everywhere.  Fast forward some twenty years later to a dead-end job, a divorce, a mortgage, and a crazy extended family living under her roof. To say the least, things haven't turned out the way Joy thought they would.  One day she seems to be at rock bottom, using an old-school mop to clean up some red wine her ex-husband spilled on the precious teak deck of her dad's (Robert de Niro's) girlfriend's (Isabella Rossellini's) sailboat.  She gets shards of glass in her hands -- but she also gets a brainstorm.  What if she'd been able to use a mop that she didn't need to wring out manually?  Now, I know that mops aren't all that exciting.  And I myself almost never use one.  But Joy's been through so much -- she's the poster child for the downtrodden woman -- and her austere yet sincere enthusiasm is nothing short of infectious.  (Besides, her plight did bring me back to the time I had to use a nasty old, non-self-ringing mop during my stint at the local CVS.  And rest assured, it was disgusting.)  So, I was amped for Joy and her revolutionary household helper. Re-energized by her idea, Joy holes up in her daughter's bedroom, using crayons to design the Miracle Mop, an uber-absorbent device made up of a lightweight plastic rod and a detachable head that can be tossed into the washing machine.  She builds a prototype and is off and running.  Sort of.  It becomes clear that Joy's journey will be anything but smooth as she embarks, Cinderella-style, on a fool's errand mission to sell her product despite endless obstacles from rival inventors, QVC executives (most notably a hard-nosed but open-minded Bradley Cooper), lawyers, and her own family.  Throughout it all, the mop emerges as an all-encompassing symbol, coming to mean second chances (getting a clean slate), class mobility (from scrubbing the floors to running the show), feminism (controlling the mop -- and indeed, the domestic messes -- that once controlled you) and yes, a little magic (cue those dancing broomsticks from Fantasia because by this time we're in need of some silly).  As a bonus, Susan Lucci appears as a big-haired fictional soap star seen through only the lens of Joy's mom's TV, and Melissa Rivers is an uncannily convincing Joan Rivers selling jewelry on QVC.  Still, at the heart of this film is the business of wonder, of the fine, intangible, insistent things that work to help you get it done.  It's a classic underdog, American dream kind of story, and Lawrence shines as the heroine who never stops kicking -- even if it means maybe risking her glass slipper.  

Who knows?  Maybe someday Mattel will come up with a Joy Mangano Barbie, complete with snazzy suit and pink -- no, rainbow -- glittery mop.  Put in your bids now, QVC.

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