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Betsy McCall and (Bald) Midge March 20, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Travel & Leisure.
38 comments

Growing up, the two dolls I played with most were Betsy McCall and Midge.

Starting in May 1951, McCall’s Magazine printed Betsy McCall Paper Dolls in most issues.  In August 1966, Betsy went to a Beach Party:

A few years later, Betsy went Inter-Galactic!

Betsy McCall Paper Dolls became so popular that various sized vinyl dolls were produced by Ideal and American Character Dolls.

Each month, I raced to cut out the printed dolls and clothing from mom’s issue of McCall’s.  In time, tired of having holes cut in her magazine, mom bought me a “real” Betsy McCall doll.

So. Much. Better. Than. Paper.

Betsy McCall’s vinyl version had move-able joints, allowing her to bend at the waist, hips, knees, and elbows . . . making her the perfect guest at tea parties, dinner parties, and trips to the movies.

Wikipedia ~ Midge (Fair Use)

In contrast, Barbie’s best friend, Midge, could only sit with straight legs splayed out in front of her.

No amount of coaxing caused her to relax this stance.

In retrospect, Midge would have been ideal for cocktail parties where everyone stands around stiff-kneed and stream-lined, afraid to rumple or crumple their gowns.

At that time, cocktail parties were beyond my ken.

Due to her rigidity, there wasn’t much to do with Midge other than changing her outfits.

Which gets old . . . fast.  (Unless you’re a budding fashionista.)

Wikipedia ~ Monk’s Tonsure (in Public Domain)

One day, bored with Midge’s inflexible sameness,  I cut her hair . . . revealing a previously invisible but now quite noticeable bald patch on the back of her head.

Oops!

I studied Midge from different angles.  The bald patch looked rather like an atoll.  Or a bad case of ringworm.  Or . . . a monk’s tonsure!

That’s it!

Midge’s bald spot was a symbol of her renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem.

Despite her inability to perfect the full lotus position, Midge had never given up her childhood dream of becoming the next Dolly Lama.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Retired post:  A Paper Doll To Call My Own (Life in the 50’s)