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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Barbie to 'Brink': Childhood dreams die hard

As college students, we get asked, “What do you want to do with your life?” pretty often.

My reaction generally involves a gulp, a cheek-to-cheek smile and a confident, “Well, you see, I know, exactly, really, actually, but… OK, I don’t know.”

But you know what? When I was a kid I had some pretty specific ideas of what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe I can tell people about those aspirations instead? OK? Cool.  

Hair stylist (Barbie expert stylist, that is!)

Dressing up Barbies in pink dresses was fun and all, but you know what was more rewarding? Dunking a doll’s head in a cup of watered-down green food coloring then chopping off half her hair. If I could take an ordinary Barbie with knee-length locks and give her an angled bob spruced up with some teal nail polish highlights, surely I could make it as a real stylist, right?

Professional rollerblader

Andy Brinker, from the movie “Brink,” is a teenager who enjoys rollerblading for fun with his friends in southern California. Upon realizing his family is in financial trouble, he begins skating for money. The plot thickens. I won’t give away any more spoilers, but let’s just say it’s a quality film.

Anyway, what could be cooler than rollerblading for a living? 

Any sort of magical witch

Sabrina. The girl from “Halloweentown.” I’d even be content as one of the half-bloods in Harry Potter. As a kid, I just really wanted was magical powers. Was that so much for a girl to ask for?

To make this fantasy seem less impossible, I went as a witch for five Halloweens as a kid (three times during elementary school, then following a hiatus, twice during middle school after I discovered “Charmed” reruns on TNT). 


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Ginger Spice. As a young child, I was convinced my life would be better if I had red hair. I wasn’t entirely sure what red hair would do for me, but I knew I wanted it.

My red-hair obsession hit its peak around the same time the Spice Girls did. So naturally, when I was six, my plan was to become Ginger Spice when I grew up. 

However, while I was once willing to challenge any friend who insisted my blond hair and late birthday limited my Spice Girl career possibilities to Baby, as the group’s popularity waned, my interest in becoming the redheaded pop star did too. 

Preteen extraordinaire

Either twin from “The Parent Trap.” A set of spunky twin sisters collude with each other to reunite their parents? Could a movie be any more awesome? 

Clearly, it only took one viewing of this VHS tape for me to realize who I wanted to model my preteen years after. At age seven, I didn’t know exactly who this Lindsay Lohan chick was, and I was a little shaky on my understanding of which of the twins she was more like in real life, but either way, she seemed like a role model.

Celebrity twin

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen solved mysteries, hosted awesome slumber parties, traveled the world and, if my memory serves me right, for some reason they saved a dude ranch? What I’m getting at is these girls led pretty interesting lives. I didn’t just want to watch them on my TV; I wanted to be them. My neighbor also saw an appeal in being an Olsen, so we decided to spend the rest of our childhood pretending to be the twins. She’s three years older than me, so I wasn’t in a position to object when she (age nine) assigned me (age six) the role of Mary-Kate indefinitely.

Wanna watch “The Parent Trap” with Rachel while she applies to join “Brink’s” team? Send her an email about it at

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