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Barbie’s makeover is unnecessary

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I had another wake-up call that times are a changin’ after buying a Barbie for my daughter for Christmas.

It’s been a number of years since I purchased a sleek Mattel product. My three older daughters are teenagers, and my 3-year-old enjoys a bounty of hand-me-downs. She’s fascinated with anything sparkly, so Barbie Mariposa with huge pink, sparkle wings at a clearance price seemed the perfect present.

Because it wasn’t something mentioned on Santa’s knee, I secretly prepped my toddler for the holiday surprise by renting the Barbie Mariposa DVD to watch the night before Christmas Eve.

It worked like a charm. She was thrilled and flew Barbie and her butterfly wings round and round through the wrapping paper obstacle course all morning.

It wasn’t long before she wanted to change Mariposa’s outfit, leading to my discovery — Barbie has been working out!

Mariposa’s long sleek legs are now toned and with perfectly carved calves. Her arms are lean yet defined in the bicep. Her midsection really does have crazy abs. Her lips and buttocks are plumped just right. And true to the times, her ornate necklace is a tattoo.

My daughter pulled other clothes from our Barbie stash. Despite the tiny size, they seemed to make Mariposa look frumpy in yesteryear’s fashion.

While Barbie-makers have long been criticized for sexualizing toys, I have to admit Mariposa’s Victoria Secret-like painted underwear appears to have crossed the line.

As a young mom, you would have found me in the anti-Barbie camp — that is, until natural disaster forced me to let down my guard.

It was August 2000 when my three little girls and I were stuck inside while wildfires burned the mountains surrounding our home. The smoke was as thick as fog and seeped through our windows, leaving ash everywhere. We didn’t leave the house unless we absolutely had to and inevitably were going stir crazy in the awful heat.

So when our friends had a garage sale that included a lifetime collection of Barbies and gear, I couldn’t resist. They threw dozens of dolls and hundreds of outfits, accessories and home essentials in a box for a bargain $30.

The new world of Barbie mesmerized my girls for several weeks, saved my sanity and I was surprisingly grateful to reassemble that cardboard-backed three-story house every time it was bumped.

These days, Barbie is far from being the only perpetuator of a sexually explicit society. Just last night within five minutes of having the television turned on, my young family heard the word “sex” at least three times before we started a mild movie.

The pandering is truly pitiful and leads me to believe the entertainment industry is stuck with a recess-era sense of humor using “sex” instead of “poop” to get a laugh.

No, I’m not going to take Mariposa away from my adoring daughter simply because she’s wearing sexy underwear, but my guard is up a little higher for all my kids.

How do you protect your family from our over-sexed society? Let me know at sduce@desnews.com.