Growing up the youngest of ten kids in the “Catholic Industrial Complex” that is Dubuque, Iowa, Marikay Klein was born in 1958 with a one-size-fits-all life blueprint: get married and make babies. But as a young girl, she couldn’t even pretend to like dolls, that is, until Barbie—unmarried and childless—breezed in, destroying that social straightjacket with her 1966 Mustang convertible. Barbie reflected a boundless world far beyond Marikay’s conventional upbringing, a world in which women boldly took to the streets to march for equal pay and equal rights. Nowhere was this evolving gender equality on such vivid display as in the pages of the JCPenney catalog, crystalizing Marikay’s pre-teen theory about how men and women were meant to behave in the idealistic Age of Aquarius. Infused with wry humor, this unsentimental short memoir from a first-time filmmaker proves that one size doesn’t fit all.
Directed by Marikay Klein.