When I turned 11, Barbie was born -- the doll version of women I saw on television: fashionable, eternally well-coiffed, cosmetically perfect.
Barbie had the allure of a romantic life -- out of reach but wistfully desired. Barbie never needed to "go anywhere" since her fashion alone seemed to jump-start her great adventures.
At the same time, I belonged to my local Girl Scout troop, working on badges familiar to the '50s: cooking, sewing and dancing come to mind. On the cusp of feminism's dawn, I hadn't heard of entrepreneurship or the word "Ms."
As I entered adolescence, I was peripherally aware of a Barbie whose fashions evolved to reflect First Ladies like Jackie or Title IX athletes, but her changes were mired in style, not substance. My dwindling Girl Scout troop began to talk more about Simone de Beauvoir and less about cookies.
I went on to college packing up Barbie and my Girl Scout uniform; different groups filled my life. I walked forward, without stilettos, joining other women who knew that we needed equal pay, and that more women needed encouragement to pursue careers in science and math; change was more than purchasing an astronaut outfit for Barbie.