Exclusive interview with Barbie

About to celebrate her 50th birthday, Jungle Jim snatches five minutes with Barbara Mattel.

Barbie approaches my table in a classic, full-length, fitted, cream evening gown embellished with gold sequins and a band of tulle.

On the eve of turning 50 she still turns heads and manages a swift gait in her heels.
She slumps into a chair, waves over a waiter, places a slim cigarette into a sleek cigarette holder and lights up.

JJ: You know you can’t smoke here right?

BM: F*** ’em. These people were in diapers when I started smoking, besides, I’m good for business.

To prove her point the waiter snivels over and takes her order. Her American accent is twisted with influences and decidedly huskier than I’d imagined. Her lipstick seeps into the smoking lines around her swollen lips, and up close I can see the crows’ feet peeping through her matte make-up, while her forehead appears frozen.

BM: Well, you going to start this thing, kid?

JJ: Since your very public split with Ken, you’ve been linked to the Australian surfer Blaine. How’s that going?

BM: You Australians are so insecure. Always about you isn’t it. Ken was a ‘p....’. Blaine is a mimbo, end of story. When you’re a 50-year-old broad you take what you can get, but fame is a lonely business so I tend not to get too involved these days – less complicated, fewer lawyers.

JJ: What do you say to all the feminists who still hate you?

BM: They don’t hate me half as much as they hate Bratz, Britney and Paris.

JJ: So you’re not jealous of the success of Bratz?

BM: Trash. I may be older, but I ain’t trash.

JJ: A lot has been made of your constant career shifting: is it true you have borderline personality disorder?

BM: A lot was made of all those politically correct friends of mine too, but it’s all just PR.

JJ: Is it true you have a team of plastic surgeons?

BM: Sweetheart, I’m practically all plastic.

JJ: Did you really get banned from flying British Airways?

BM: Are we done here?

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